Mercy Regional Health Center
PrintEmail

Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)

What is a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG)?
What will happen during the exam?
How should I prepare for the procedure?
What should I wear?
What happens after the test?
What are the risks?
How long does the exam take?
How is this exam especially useful?


What is a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG)?
A voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) is an examination of the bladder and lower urinary tract or urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the bladder) using x-ray contrast.

Top


What will happen during the exam?
A small tube will be inserted through the urethra into the bladder. You will feel a pressure sensation while the tube is being inserted.

The tube is then connected to a contrast agent that drips into the bladder. Films are taken while your bladder is full, while you are emptying your bladder and once your bladder is empty.

Top


How should I prepare for the procedure?
There are no special preparations for this procedure.

Top


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

Top

 
What happens after the test?
You may go back to your normal activities after the test. As a result of the catheter, there may be a burning sensation during urination or light blood discharge. This is normal and will usually go away within 24 hours.

Top

 
What are the risks?
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. Patients who are allergic to iodine should inform the technologist prior to the examination. Women should always inform their doctor if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

Top

 
How long does the exam take?
After you have checked in, the VCUG examination will take about 30 minutes to perform.

Top


How is this exam especially useful?
A VCUG is recommended after frequent urinary tract infections to check for a condition known as vesicoureteral reflux. This condition is caused by a reverse flow of urine from the bladder into the drainage system of the kidneys.

Top