Renal Scan

Download/print the Renal Scan patient information sheet

What is a renal scan?

A renal scan is used to help determine how your kidneys are functioning.

How should I prepare for my exam?
  • You should be well hydrated with water before your appointment.
  • You may eat, drink and take all of your prescribed medications.
    • If you take Lasix (furosemide or “water pill”), please inform the Suburban Imaging scheduler of your dosage and what time of day you take it.
  • Wear comfortable clothes without metal fasteners, including zippers, buttons and snaps.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early to complete registration.
  • Bring your insurance card and a valid photo ID.
How long will my exam take?

A renal scan will take approximately one hour.

What happens during my exam?

You will be positioned on your back on a cushioned table with the camera positioned above and below the level of your kidneys. An IV will be started in your arm, and a small amount of radioactive tracer will be injected. The tracer allows your kidneys to be seen by the nuclear medicine camera.

Images will be taken for approximately 30-45 minutes. If your doctor asks us to use a diuretic called Lasix during the exam, it will be injected 20 minutes into the exam. Lasix causes increased urine production, so images will be taken of your kidneys until you need to go to the bathroom and empty your bladder.

What happens after my exam?

Following the exam, your images will be interpreted by one of our board-certified radiologists. The findings will be sent to your healthcare provider who will then contact you to discuss the results.

Unless directed otherwise, you may drive, resume your normal diet, exercise and take all prescribed medications after your appointment.

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