Ultrasound of the kidney, bladder, or pelvis for children and adults

What is this test for?

An ultrasound is a way of taking pictures of the inside of the body with sound waves.

An ultrasound of the kidneys, bladder, or pelvis should be done before an upper GI, barium enema, colonoscopy, endoscopy, and nuclear medicine tests.

Your appointment

Please see your appointment letter for the location of your ultrasound procedure. If you have any questions, please call Radiology Scheduling at 1-319-356-3444.

Preparing for the procedure



  • Children 0-5 years of age: No soda/pop on the day of the test.
  • Children 6-17 years of age: No soda/pop on the day of the test.

A full bladder is best for this test if the child is able to hold their urine.

Adults 18 years of age or older

  • One to two hours before the test:
    • Empty your bladder. Do not empty your bladder again until after the test is done.
    • If you have a bladder catheter, this should be clamped 1-2 hours before the test.
  • One hour before the test
    • Drink four eight-ounce glasses of fluids (32 ounces total).


You may take your usual medicines before your test.

What to expect

  • The procedure will take 45 minutes to one hour
  • A gel is put on to the skin and a scanner is placed on the area to get the picture. The sound waves are made into a picture. 

After the procedure

If a urine sample is needed, it must be done after the test.

Last reviewed: 
October 2018

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