What is an ultrasound scan for kidney stones?
An ultrasound scan for kidney stones is a noninvasive diagnostic examination that will produce images which are used to assess the size, shape, and location of the kidneys. Blood flow to the kidneys can also be assessed using ultrasound.
Ultrasound employs a transducer, which emits ultrasound waves at a frequency that is too high to be heard. The ultrasound transducer is applied to the skin, and the ultrasound waves travel through the body to the organs and structures. The sound waves bounce off the organs and return to the transducer. The reflected waves are processed by the transducer and then converted into an image of the organs or tissues being examined by a computer. Sound waves travel at various speeds depending on the type of tissue, such as the fastest through bone tissue and the slowest through air.
An ultrasound gel is applied to the skin of the individual and the transducer to allow the transducer to glide smoothly over the skin and for the better conduction of sound.