This type of medical ultrasound does require a physician order or referral prior to beginning the exam.
Bladder can be evaluated by itself but is often evaluated along with kidneys.
In order for the bladder to be seen on ultrasound, it has to be full. The anatomy of the bladder walls and overall volume can then be evaluated.
Ultrasound shows anything that is fluid as black so the bladder will show up on ultrasound as a black structure.
Bladder ultrasounds are performed when recurrent urinary tract infections, kidney infections and incontinence issues are of concern.
Bladder ultrasounds are performed initially with a full bladder and then once appropriate images are obtained you will be asked to void. After voiding, your bladder will be reassessed to determine if any post void residual is left and if so, images will be taken and volume measurements done.
Bladder Ultrasound Prep
You will be asked to drink roughly 32 ounces of any type of fluid 1 hour prior to your ultrasound. You will not be able to void or empty your bladder until after your ultrasound.
Having a full bladder is very necessary in order to properly evaluate the bladder anatomy and surround anatomy. You are covered for this exam with your lower pelvis area draped with a towel.