Expert kidney imaging
Renal Scans at Beverly Hospital
Doctors use renal imaging scans to understand how your kidneys are working. Renal scans can show if kidney cells are functioning properly or if there are any abnormalities.
Renal scans are usually used in the following situations:
- Evaluating blood flow to kidneys
- Detecting kidney blockages
- Detecting narrowing of renal arteries
- Measuring how much functioning kidney tissue you have
Preparing for a Renal Scan
Your doctor provides you with specific instructions to follow for your renal scan, but we recommend drinking plenty of water before the procedure.
There is no specific preparation you need to complete before your scan.
Be sure to notify the technologist if there is any chance you may be pregnant. For most patients, the test does not cause any side effects or allergic reactions.
Renal scans use radiotracers (a type of radioactive material) that create clear images of the kidney. This type of care is called nuclear medicine. The radiotracer moves through the bloodstream to the kidneys, where it releases energy to create an image that is picked up by a special camera.
Because patient care and safety are our top priorities, we carefully monitor our equipment to make sure it produces the highest quality images.
Right before your scan, the technologist injects the radiotracer into your vein. Afterward, the technologist asks you to lie on your back on a bed between a set of cameras.
Once you are comfortable on the bed, the imaging begins. It is important that you remain still while the cameras are on. Movement can affect the quality of the images. Scans typically last about 45 minutes.
The technologist performing your scan talks to you in detail about what you can expect before, during and after the procedure. They also answer any questions you may have.
After your scan, you can return to your regular activities. Your doctor should receive the results of your scan about 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. They take the time to discuss the results with you.