Should an ultrasound of the kidneys be excruciatingly painful?

Only, I've just been for an abdo scan because of various issues I've been having, and when it came time for the doctor to run the probe of my kidneys (both sides equally) it hurt so much I shouted out and tried to move away from him. The exact same thing happened on the other side. It was just tender, I hit the roof, and swore, and all the breath came rushing out of me. They had dipped my urine which showed no infection, but on of the reasons for the scan was urge incontinence, so now I'm wondering if there is something going on. I asked him if it was normal to hurt like that, and he said not usually no, but then said everything was fine.

I'm worried, I can't help it, even since my renal failure from 2012 I worry that it could happen again, and the fact that no one keeps an eye on my kidneys despite that makes me worry more. Can anyone tell me if this pain is normal and nothing to worry about?


21 Replies

  • I had many ultrasounds on my kidneys before i was diagnosed with kidney failure and yes it does hurt. I asked why it hurt some much and he said the kidneys are deep inside the back and they have to press on the back to get a good 'feel of them'. I was gripping the side of the table as it hurt so much. i have had since had an ultrasound on my kidney transplant which is in my stomach and that hurt also. I hope that you get a quick diagnosis. x

  • Can I just say hi to a fellow renal transplant patient! Not seen anyone else on here before with this. I'm at 8 years in March and now have a slight reduction in function. Createnines at about 90 now when they were always at about 78 or low 80's. Hope you're doing good yourself. X

  • Hello fellow renal transplant patient! I went for my yearly transplant check up on thursday, and they have said that my renal function is good. It's 4 years on 24 february for my transplant. At the moment i need to have a scan on one leg, which is bigger than the other one. It is very heavy and painful. I also have avascular necrosis. my hip bone is wearing away because of lupus and the transplant. Take care x

  • That's great that your transplants doing well. Mine is too it still works better than most people's new transplant so that good. Make sure you drink plenty as if you don't you'll end up with a very serious infection, and end up in hospital like I did. Are you on Prograf, Mycophenalate and prednisolone for the transplant? Sorry other parts are dropping off, that's Lupus for you. As time goes on the meds will sadly cause more problems. At least we are alive and kicking, even for you if it is one good leg at the mo ;0D Sorry to hijack this page by the way !

  • I am talking all of the above including statins, vitamin d and blood pressure pills. So i rattle every morning! It beats a dialysis machine anytime. Trying to also lose some weight. Very difficult because of the medication. Don't worry you haven't hijacked this page. It's good to hear about other people. Makes me feel that i am not alone.

  • Lol I rattle too! In addition I have like you a statin, 2 types of blood pressure tablets, tablet for my asthma, antihistamines, occasional tablets for reflux, bath emollients and creams, asthma inhaler. That's all for the mo. I have the transplant, asthma, dodgy skin, Scleritis and Iritis, a stomach problem from eating even a crumb of wheat or gluten where i swell out instantly to a nine month pregnancy size (no exaggeration), occasional painful hip joint, collapsed areas in lungs and am under the cardiologist for tests as they think I have angina or heart disease which will be as a result of the meds and transplant. Pre transplant I only had asthma & the eye things. Like you I struggle with my weight. I did get really nice and slim again only to pile on weight for no apparent reason so now I feel large and repulsive and am a ridiculous shape being a 12 bottom half and an 18 top half toffee apple on a stick shape ha ha! Would love to exercise but my lungs/heart thing wont allow me. Hey ho I still work part time, am alive have almost 6 grandchildren and am hanging off my 50th until the end of the year :0) x

  • I wanted to clarify that mammography should not have to hurt. Good luck finding a mammography tech that won't hurt you.I was a mammo tech. I did not hurt my patients .only if I accidently hit petal a bit too much. Very seldom & only accidently.

    With kidneys I don't know why .Just that the added pressure to try & get a good scan Was the possibility. I will see what I can find out. Maybe just tenderness from lupus/fibro?

  • That doesn't sound right - have you checked that the pain is not muscular? I've had similar pain on one side only, though, but it was a pulled muscle - it was so painful though and so localised, I thought kidney was in trouble.

  • Hi Purpletop, it's actually turning into a right palaver! I went to my GP yesterday who dipped a urine sample and said it looked like a kidney infection, and started me on antibiotics. He sent the sample off to be analysed and at 1pm today the surgery phoned to say the same sample was normal. Now, I know I'm no Dr, but I drink a lot of water and normally my wee is crystal clear and almost colourless but yesterday's sample was orange, cloudy and frothy. I thought to myself, what if they've read me last weeks urine test result which was when I first had problems which led to scan. So I did another orange, cloudy, frothy sample, and a medic friend of mine dipped it for me and although it was now clear of infection (after half a course of Trimepothrine) it was sky high with protein and also contained blood. So I have arranged to go back to see my GP in 30 minutes with my sample in the hope of finding out what the heck is going on! I know I'm being a nuisance, but having been in unexplained acute renal failure before, I need them to be certain this time! I'll be thrilled if they can disprove the orange wee theory! Lol! Xx

  • You aren't the nuisance, the surgery etc is! Good luck and let us know!

  • Cor blimey, well the wee stick doesn't lie. I'm leaking protein like a good'un. Could this be first signs of SLE kidney involvement? I do hope not :( x

  • Hold on, don't panic yet! What did the GP say? Is he sending you to a specialist? Apparently mycophenolate does wonders in those cases.

  • He said I need to do a 24 hour wee collection then he'll probably have to refer me bearing in mind my history. Ironically, the pain which I thought was my kidneys was muscular like you thought it might be x

  • Before i had a transplant i was leaking protein. My urine looked like a bubble bath! Now 4 years after my transplant i am still leaking urine but i was told my kidney function is good. x

  • I've yet to have any positive tests come back for SLE, but have been told have something lupus-like going on. I've been worried about my kidneys since 2012 when I got meningo encephalitis (aseptic - cause unknown), they commented on my immune system being wrecked then, and while in hospital with meningitis, went into acute renal failure, cause unknown to this day. But they never looked into why. It happened again 6 months later, although much milder, then righted itself, again no investigations. No one has monitored my kidneys since, and no one thought about looking into why I had meningo encephalitis twice either, which is really rare. What are the chances? For the past month I have been passing exactly as you describe, bubble bath, except mine in dark yellowy orange. I'm desperately trying to find something on the internet that suggests it could be a simple infection. Has anyone heard of anything it could be other than Lupus involvement? X

  • protein leaking from the kidneys into the urine is called fsgs. It is holes in your kidneys that leak into urine and also blood stream. googleing it will give you all of the information.

  • Have lost count how many times I've pulled a muscle and had awful pain in my kidney transplant area. Very worrying at the time as you think it IS the kidney in trouble. I never learn not to overload a shopping basket lol and I regularly hurt my back too doing the same thing!

  • I had a severe infection in my kidney transplant, pylonephritis. If the Dr had breathed across my abdomen I would've screemed with pain so you can imagine how I reacted when that area was given a prod! I've never experienced any pain on scans, not on my old kidneys or my transplant not unles there's an infection.

  • Can I just say how important it is to drink plenty to flush your kidneys through. The 24 hour wee collection is a nuisance, you'll need a day at home as believe me you dont want to be carrying a heavy, smelly, huge plastic pot around. The results will reveal all to your consultant, which I do hope you have as they are brilliant. Having renal failure isn't good as it affects so many other things in your body. If you do have renal failure and need dialysis like I did at 40 it's not the end of the world. You can still work and still have a life. I came off the machines, went home for quick lunch then straight off to work. I had a live unrelated transplant and am 8 years into this, no rejection, working fabulously. Hope you get answers soon and get a good consultant. They are brilliant in Brighton. Try not too worry. If I beleived what I read back in 2000 at my diagnosis with SLE i should've died by 2005! I'm very much here, still feisty, well worse because of steroids lol, and I try to kick the butt of all that is thrown at me. :0) x

  • Thank you both, amazing to hear from two donor recipients who are doing so well also. Good to know you have given Lupus a run for it's money, I admire your spirit. I'm drinking lots, I have always put away 2 litres of water a day anyway and only have one hot caffeinated drink in the morning so other than my medication I'm pretty kind to them. Hopefully it's nothing too serious xx

  • My guess would be that the "dr"or ultrasound tech was having some trouble getting a good image. Fat can be a problem to scan through. THE Ultrasound Waves ARE Knocked Off Course Trying To GET Through A Lot Of tissue. The same thing with xrays. It is difficult to xray or scan big bodies.that's why breasts are compressed 4 mammography. Maybe to reduce motion too. But it should not have to hurt for mammography. Or the patient is less willing to return later 4 mammograms. Preached by the radiologist I had worked for 4 a short u time.

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