A KUB X-ray is a painless procedure to image the kidney, ureters and bladder using X-ray beams passing through your abdomen. A clear and precise image is formed on the X-ray film against your body.
It helps in detecting urinary system problems and is done along with intravenous pyelography.
KUB radiography is an essential non-invasive diagnostic tool that images vital organs: the kidneys, ureter and bladder- the organs that give the X-ray its name. KUB radiography is usually used to evaluate conditions of these organs and potential urinary health conditions.
Why Do You Need a KUB X-ray?
The most common causes of a KUB X-ray are the kidney stones that develop in the organ and cause blockage and pain. If a kidney stone moves from your kidney toward your bladder, it causes a blockage that needs to be investigated. If this happens, you may experience:
● Blood in your urine
● Burning during urination
● Nausea and vomiting
Your doctor may also prescribe a KUB X-ray if they suspect the following indications:
● gall/kidney stones
● abdominal pain due to gastro related diseases
● presence of any foreign objects if swallowed accidentally
● to reveal changes in shape and size of kidneys, ureter and bladder due to an infection or injury
● to target the progress of stones
● to see the entrapped air or fluid between the spaces of abdominal organs
● diagnose certain tumors
● intestinal blockage or constipation
When Do You Need It?
A KUB X-ray is a specialized abdominal X-ray used by urologists and gastroenterologists when patients experience unexplained pain in their flank, back, or abdomen. This diagnostic tool can help diagnose tumors, urinary blockages, and stones in the kidneys, ureters and bladder. If any symptoms related to kidney or gallstones manifest, you must let your doctor know during the appointment.
A KUB radiograph is also an essential guide used by urologists to place a ureteral stent when a blockage in the ureters prevents urine flow. A KUB X-ray also provides landmarks and determines if the catheter placed in a bladder is positioned appropriately.
How Do You Need To Prepare?
No special preparation is required for a KUB X-ray; however, keep the following points in mind before your appointment:
If there is a chance of pregnancy, inform your physician and radiologist to discuss the exposure limit for the developing fetus.
● Remove any jewelry or metal objects that might distort the radiographic image.
● Consult the X-ray technician if you wear any on-body devices such as an insulin pump or have metal implants from prior surgeries
● You may be asked to change into the hospital gown for the imaging at the time of the scan.
What to Expect?
A KUB X-ray is a non-invasive procedure, and the patient does not feel any pain. They may hear a beep signaling the images are taken and feel cold due to the room temperature to keep the equipment in optimum condition.
The radiography technician will ask you to keep very still or hold your breath for a few seconds while the X-ray is taken to ensure maximum clarity. They will request you to lie on the table in the radiography room and adjust the overhead X-ray machine to the appropriate position over the abdomen. A light beam shining from the device will allow the technician to position the X-ray machine appropriately.
The technician will ask the patient to lay completely still on the X-ray table while the images are being taken. Your doctor may request multiple views depending on the suspected pathology, which may require your technician to position you in a supine (laying down) position and erect (standing) position.
The entire procedure is usually completed within fifteen minutes, even though the actual exposure to radiation is usually less than a second.
Once the radiologist approves the images, the patient can change into regular clothes and immediately go on about their day as usual.
What Do Your X-ray Results Mean?
A radiologist will study your results and draw findings, produce a report and send it to your primary health care provider, who will explain what the results mean.
A KUB X-ray will help your doctor pinpoint any visible health conditions in your kidney disease, Kidney ureter, and bladder and start appropriate treatment. Your doctor will use the results of the X-rays to make diagnostic and treatment decisions. They may draw up treatment plans and lifestyle recommendations and discuss them with you.