Renal Scan

Nuclear medicine

What is a Renal Scan?

In a nuclear medicine Renal Scan, images, or pictures, are taken of fluid going into the kidneys through the bloodstream, the filtered wastes from the blood in the kidneys and the flow or drainage of the waste into the bladder through the ureters (that join the kidneys to the bladder).

A renal scan is used to look at the blood supply, function and flow of urine from the kidneys if it is suspected that there are problems with how the kidneys are working. Reduced kidney function may be shown in abnormal blood tests, high blood pressure or abnormal results obtained from the urine itself.

Preparing For Your Renal Scan

  • You may wear your own clothing, such as jogging, leggings, or sweat pants, as long as there are no metal fasteners, zippers, buttons, etc. Hospital gowns are available.
  • Jewelry and other accessories should be left at home, if possible, or removed prior to the scan.

Walk-in Patients: Please be sure to bring the signed order from your physician requesting the examination and your insurance card.

What You Can Expect During Your Renal Scan

The Nuclear Medicine equipment used for your scan is performed in an open environment which alleviates discomfort or claustrophobia concerns, as the patient is not fully enclosed.

A Renal scan procedure includes both an injection and the actual scan. Your technician will inject a very safe radioactive material (tracer) into a vein in your arm.

The tracers provide clear images of the kidneys taken with a special camera called a gamma camera. In a nuclear medicine renal scan, images, or pictures, are taken of fluid going into the kidneys through the bloodstream, the filtered wastes from the blood in the kidneys and the flow or drainage of the waste into the bladder through the ureters (that join the kidneys to the bladder).

It is important before having the scan that you drink plenty of fluids, so the gamma camera can take images of the fluid as it is collected in the kidneys and discharged through the ureters and into the bladder.

The camera will sit over your abdomen but will not touch you. Images of your kidneys will be taken continuously for about 20 minutes. Depending on your type of scan, additional medication of frusemide (Lasix) and captopril may be given to make the kidneys work harder and make any obstruction easier to see on the images.

The scan will take approximately 30–60 minutes.

After Your Renal Scan

In most cases, you can go about your day after your scan. The small amount of radioactive tracer will lose its reactivity or pass through your urine and stool over the next day or two. Drink plenty of water to help flush it out of your system.

How Soon Will Scan Results Be Available?

Your images are reviewed, and results interpreted by one of our qualified doctors who specializes in reading images (radiologist). The Radiologist will prepare a report, which is electronically sent to your doctor as soon as available, usually within 24-48 hours.

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Webster, TX 77598

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17490 Hwy 3, Suite B400
Webster, TX 77598

713-955-2142
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