Mercy Regional Health Center
PrintEmail

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

What is an intravenous pyelogram?
What happens during the exam?
How should I prepare for the procedure?
What should I wear?
What happens after the test?
What are the risks?
Will I be able to feel the exam?
How long will the exam take?
When is this exam given?
When will I get my exam results? 
 
 
What is an intravenous pyelogram?
An intravenous pyelogram, or IVP, is an x-ray study of your urinary tract, which includes your kidneys, bladder and ureters.

Top
 
 
What happens during the exam?
Some initial x-rays will be taken. Then you will be given an intravenous (IV) injection of contrast agent to make your urinary tract show up more clearly on the x-rays. This contrast agent may feel slightly warm as it travels up your arm, and it may create a metallic taste in your mouth. These effects are normal and will not last long.
 
The technologist will take a series of x-rays as the contrast agent moves through your urinary tract. You will then be asked to move into different positions to take a few more x-ray images. For some images, pressure may be applied to your abdomen. You should remain as still and relaxed as you can.
 
At the end of the exam, you will be asked to empty your bladder and have additional x-rays taken to let the doctor know how effectively you can eliminate urine. You may need to wait a few minutes at the end of the test while the technologist checks to see if any additional images are needed. 

Top

 
How should I prepare for the procedure?

  • You are responsible for following all preparation instructions in order to obtain the best images possible.
  • You will receive preparation instructions, including what you can eat and drink the night before the exam. Since the urinary tract is behind your bowels, you may be asked to take a laxative to empty them.
  • If you are or may be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding, let the testing facility know as soon as you are scheduled for your exam.
  • Let your technologist know about any allergies, especially to iodine; any medications you are taking, especially for diabetes; any kidney or bladder problems; and any previous surgeries.

Top


What should I wear?
Most patients will be asked to wear a hospital gown for the exam. You will also need to remove all jewelry.

Top


What happens after the test?
You are free to resume your normal activities and diet after the test. Those taking oral diabetic medications may be given special post-test instructions. We recommend you drink extra liquids to flush the contrast agent out more quickly. The contrast agent will leave your body naturally in about a day. It is colorless and has no odor.

Top


What are the risks?

  • Be sure to notify your doctor if you have an allergy to iodine, since the contrast agent contains iodine.
  • This is an x-ray procedure, so you will receive a small dose of radiation; however, the exam's benefit is well worth this small exposure. Be sure to notify your doctor if you are or may be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding.

Top


Will I be able to feel the exam?

You will not feel the x-rays. You will feel some pressure if your abdomen is compressed. If the pressure causes any pain, let the technologist know.

Top


How long will the exam take?
On average, the exam will take only 45 to 60 minutes. However, for some patients it may take longer. Don't worry if the exam seems to take a long time.

Top


When is this exam given?
An IVP is commonly ordered to discover the reason for urinary problems such as stones, obstruction or infection.

Top


When will I get my exam results?
The radiologist will review your test results and provide a written report to your physician. Reports will be provided to your doctor in a timely manner. Please follow up with your doctor to get your test results.

Top