What Is a Bladder Ultrasound?
A bladder ultrasound is a diagnostic medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce live images of your bladder before and after urination. An ultrasound machine sends the sound waves through a handheld device called a transducer into your bladder externally, through your skin. The procedure is painless and non-invasive.
These sound waves reflect back to the transducer, creating live images that show the condition of your bladder. The images appear on a computer, which records them even as your doctor examines them. The images, recorded in black-and-white, show the:
- Internal structure of your bladder
- Condition of the bladder wall
- Amount of urine in the bladder
- Diverticula or pouches of your bladder
- Evidence of any large tumors
Problems with your bladder are stressful to talk about, but you can trust the urologists at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Queens, NY. The urology team in this state-of-the-art facility has the expertise and technology to diagnose a wide range of urological issues, including kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
What’s the Function of a Bladder Ultrasound?
An ultrasound helps your doctor get a better view of your bladder as part of diagnostic tests to determine the source of your pain or discomfort. Your doctor orders this test if you have symptoms that include:
- Difficulty urinating or maintaining urination flow
- Painful urination
- Daytime wetting
- Erectile dysfunction
- Bladder control problems and urinary incontinence
- Abdominal pain
- An unidentifiable mass
- Blood in the urine, known as hematuria
- Urinary retention
At the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center, your urology specialist offers personalized care for better treatment outcomes. Your doctor leverages latest testing technology, including bladder ultrasound, to identify the underlying cause of your bladder problem.
How Do I Prepare for a Bladder Ultrasound?
To prepare or the ultrasound of the bladder, follow a few simple guidelines, such as:
- Arrive early, preferably 15 minutes before your appointment.
- Wear comfortable clothing because you have to remove your upper garments.
- Drink about a quart of water an hour before the test.
- If you have problems with bladder retention, you may be directed to arrive early and drink water while you’re there.
- Don’t empty your bladder before being directed to.
- Tell your doctor about any discomfort you have or medications you take.
If you feel you have bladder problems, consult your urology doctor for an early diagnosis, which increases the chance of a successful treatment. Medex practices a patient-centric approach. That means your comfort comes first. Your doctor takes the time to listen to your concerns, and then you’re guided through every step of the test.
What Happens During an Ultrasound of the Bladder?
At the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center, an ultrasound specialist called a sonographer greets you and takes you through the process. Your bladder ultrasound proceeds in a series of steps that include:
- The sonographer may request that you change into a hospital gown. For the ultrasound to work correctly, the sonographer needs to access the skin over your bladder.
- You lie on a comfortable examination couch, positioned next to the ultrasound machine.
- The sonographer applies a cold gel on your naked stomach. The conductive gel helps produce clear pictures of your bladder.
- Using a handheld device called a transducer, the sonographer gently rubs the skin over your abdomen. The transducer sends sound waves into your abdomen to your bladder. The reflected waves produce a live image on a computer monitor.
- You may be directed to change position once or twice so the sonographer can scan your bladder and surrounding tissues from different angles.
- After the first series of images, you take a break to empty your bladder.
- When you return, the process repeats to get clear pictures of your empty bladder. Your doctor notes any liquid retention problems. Every image helps your doctor reach a diagnosis.
- The procedure takes less than 30 minutes.
After the diagnostic test, you can clean up and get dressed. The images are sent to a radiologist who reviews and interprets them. The information is sent to your doctor, who uses it to get a correct diagnosis of your bladder problem. The entire process can take one or two days. Your doctor communicates the diagnosis to you, following it up with recommendations for your course of treatment.
Bladder problems lower the quality of your life. When you get an early diagnosis at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center, you can prevent more serious problems with your bladder. A bladder ultrasound helps your doctor confirm a diagnosis so you can start treatment. The team uses the latest medical technology to detect any developing problems in your bladder. Contact the practice today for a whole range of preventative and diagnostic procedures.