What is a VCUG?

A VCUG (Voiding Cystourethrogram) is a fluoroscopic X-ray study ("live" dynamic imaging that is viewed on a monitor in real time) in which a radiologist infuses contrast media into the bladder via a urinary catheter to visualize the bladder, ureters and urethra. This study is performed to assess for vesicoureteral reflux and definition of urethral anatomy.

How do I prepare for the exam?

It is recommended for patients to be well hydrated. You may be asked to empty your bladder prior to the exam. Clothing may need to be removed for placement of urinary catheter.

What will happen during the exam?

The radiologist will ask for a brief medical history that pertains to the study including medication allergies and current medication intake. You will lay on a fluoroscopic table for the imaging process. The nurse or radiologist will clean the genital area with antiseptic solution and insert a urinary catheter. Contrast media will then be infused through the catheter to fill the bladder.

Pictures will be taken along the way to document changes in bladder size and/or ureteral reflux. Once the bladder is filled to capacity the urinary catheter will be removed and you will instructed to urinate into a bedpan so that the urethral anatomy may be imaged.

How long will the procedure take?

The procedure typically takes 30 to 40 minutes depending on capacity of the bladder.


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