Your doctor has requested an imaging study called a voiding cystourethrogram. This test uses X-rays to take pictures of the urinary system. It shows how well the bladder and its connecting tubes (called the urethra and the ureters) are working.
The study is commonly used to evaluate children for a condition called vesicoureteral reflux. The test can also determine whether the flow of urine is normal as the bladder empties.
This procedure is under the direction of Richard J. Sukov, MD, FACR, chief of Cedars-Sinai Gastrointestinal Imaging. Our team of physicians and medical staff work hard to make sure that you will be as comfortable as possible during this exam.
Before Your Procedure
- After you complete your registration you will be taken to one of our waiting areas. A staff member will take you to a dressing room and you will be asked to change into a hospital gown.
- For adults and for children no special preparation is necessary before this exam.
- If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
- Because you will be asked to change into a hospital gown, please wear clothing that is easy for you to remove and put back on.
- Although we do not anticipate any delay in your scheduled appointment, we recommend that you bring a book, a magazine, or a music player to help pass the time while you are waiting.
During Your Procedure
- You will speak with one of our imaging physicians, who will discuss your symptoms and the procedure with you. Our physician will also answer any questions you may have.
- Before your exam, an imaging technologist will discuss the procedure with you and take a scout film of your pelvic area.
- One of our imaging nurses will answer any questions you may have prior to placement of the catheter.
- Your urethra will be cleaned with an antiseptic fluid and a catheter gently inserted through the urethra and into the bladder.
- A bottle of iodinated contrast will be attached to the catheter and allowed to flow into the bladder.
- As the bladder is filling the radiologist will take X-rays and you will be asked to move into various positions.
- Once the bladder is full, the catheter will be removed and you will need to urinate into a container so that more X-rays may be taken while you void.
- This test takes about 15 minutes once the catheter is placed into the bladder. You can expect to spend about 45 minutes in the X-ray room.
After Your Procedure
- Drink plenty of liquid for 24 to 48 hours.
- 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.