Mercy Medical Center North Iowa

Renal Scan

What is a Renal Scan?
A renal scan is a nuclear medicine study that shows the function of your kidneys.

Why did the doctor order this scan for me?
This study is ordered when a patient is suspected of having renal failure and/or an obstruction.

What do I need to do to prepare for this scan?
Please drink plenty of fluids the day of your test. Please bring your insurance card(s), driver's license and co-pay.

What should I expect when I arrivea the the hospital?
You will first need to check in and register at the Radiology Registration desk located past Mercy Gift Shop and to the left.  At that time your personal and insurance information will be updated. Once you are registered, you will be asked to sit in the waiting area. A technologist will call you and take you to the Nuclear Medicine area. 

Who will be in the scanning room with me?
Your family is welcome to accompany you during the explanation of the test, but will be asked to return to the waiting room during the actual scan.  A nuclear medicine technologist will perform your exam.

The technologist will ask you some questions regarding your medical history and the problems that you are experiencing. The technologist will explain the exam to you and make sure all your questions are answered.  Then the technologist will start an IV in your hand or arm and give you an injection of a radioactive tracer. The tracer is what lets the technologist get the pictures of your kidneys.  There are no side effects from the tracer injection.  After the injection, you will be asked to lie still for 15 minutes while the scan is being performed.  After the first 40 minutes are completed, you may be given an injection of a medication called lasix and scanned for another 25 minutes. The injection of the lasix helps in evaluating the function of your kidneys.

What do I need to do after the scan?
Following your renal scan, you can return to normal activities. 

When will I get results of the scan?
You will receive your results from your ordering physician.  You may receive a letter, a phone call, or have a follow up appointment with your physician.  If you are unsure of how you will receive your results, please contact your physician's office.

We are very concerned about any anxiety you may have about your exam. We are happy to answer any questions you may have!

If you have questions call:
641-428-7787 or
1-800-433-3883 ext. 7787