Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

Your doctor has requested an examination of your urinary tract, including your kidneys, ureters (tubes leading from your kidneys to your bladder) and bladder. Richard Sukov, MD FACR, chief of Cedars-Sinai Gastrointestinal Radiology, leads a team of physicians, nurses and technologists who specialize in this procedure.

Before Your Procedure

  • In preparation for the intravenous contrast injection (dye injected in your vein) used for this procedure, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything for four hours before your procedure.
  • Important note: This exam includes an injection of a contrast material that contains iodine. Please inform the scheduler of any allergies you have before your exam, especially if you have an allergy to iodine. Please inform the technologist, nurse or radiologist before your study if you have such an allergy.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • We want to make any time you have to wait as pleasant as possible. Please consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.

During Your Procedure

  • The technologist will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have prior to your exam.
  • You will be asked to change into a gown and to lie on the exam table on your back with your arms at your side.
  • The technologist will take two X-rays (scout films) prior to your injection. The first X-ray is of your abdomen and pelvis area. The second X-ray is a tomogram that is taken by moving the X-ray tube over your body in a sweeping motion.
  • Once the scout films have been reviewed by the imaging physician, you will receive an intravenous injection (in your arm) of contrast material that will visualize your kidneys, ureters and bladder. You may experience a warm sensation all over your body and a metal taste in your mouth. This sensation is normal.
  • If you experience any itching, sneezing, nasal congestion, scratchy throat or swelling, you should notify the technologist immediately. Several X-rays and tomograms will be taken with you lying in various positions during your procedure.
  • The pictures will be reviewed to see if they adequately show the areas under study. If they do not, more pictures will need to be taken. It is possible that this exam may take several hours. This is not because of the equipment or the people performing your exam, but because of the way a human body works.
  • When the exam is near completion, the technologist will ask you to go to the bathroom to empty your bladder prior to taking the last X-ray.
  • This procedure takes approximately 45 minutes, if no extra pictures need to be taken.

After Your Procedure

  • The technologist will instruct you to drink plenty of water during the remainder of the day to flush your kidneys.
  • Your study will be read by the imaging physician and results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
For more information or to schedule an appointment