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Cystrogram/Voiding Cystourethragram (VCUG)

Focuses on the bladder and urethera.  Indications include, but are not limited to:

  • Vesicoureteral reflux
  • Suspected posterior urethral valves of the male patient
  • To evaluate causes of hematuria such as polyps, meatal stenosis, Cowper's duct cyst, urethral stenosis,
    or an abnormality of the fossa navicularis
  • Spspected leakage after a pelvic surgery/injury
  • To detect tumors of the baldder
  • Follow-up abnormality seen on Ultrasound or CT

The cystogram procedure is used to determine the shape and location of your bladder. Duration: 60-90 minutes.

Patient Preparation:
**For "VCUG Under Anesthesia", call Pre-Admission Services at (603) 740-2281 for exam preparations and instructions.  Otherwise, there is no preparation for this exam.  However, your physician may have you take a laxative the evening before the procedure. 

You will be asked to use the lavatory to completely empty your bladder.  If you do not already have a catheter inserted into your urethra, one of our department nurses will insert one for you. 

Please make sure the tell your doctor or the technologist if you have any allergies to medications, especially to radiology contrast (dye).  If you have had any contrast (dye) reactions in the past you may need to pre-medicate.  Please make your physician aware of this prior to your visit, as well as your technologists at the time of  your procedure. 

Upon arrival to the radiology department, you will change into a gown and robe provided by the hospital.  You are required to remove all clothing from the waist down.  Your privacy and comfort will be maintained at all times.

**NOTE:  If you are a woman of childbearing age, the technologist will ask if there is any possibility of pregnancy.

During the procedure:
A radiologist (doctor) and a registered technologist(s) will perform the procedure.  Sometimes a nurse will assist.  Please feel free to ask any questions at any time during your procedure.
A technologist will go over some medical history and your medication list with you prior to the procedure.  She/he will explain to you what your procedure requires.  You will be positioned on your back on a flat table with a pad for comfort.  (If you have to have a catheter administered, you will be positioned in such a way so as to access the urethra with a catheter.  After cleansing the area, the nurse will insert the catheter for the administration of contrast dye into the urinary bladder.)

The radiologist will instruct the technologist to begin filling your bladder with the contrast dye.  You may feel pressure and cramping.  It is important to let the radiologist or physician know what you are feeling.  The radiologist will be taking radiographic images of the flowing contrast as it fills the bladder.  You may be asked to hold a variety of positions for the doctor to obtain images.  The bladder will continue to fill until you feel the urge to void.  The radiologist may ask you to void while on the table (VCUG).  The catheter may be removed and a bedpan placed underneath you, or you may void through the catheter.  The doctor will watch the monitor for reflux.

Once the procedure is finished, the remaining contrast dye will empty out of the bladder due to gravity or be safely absorbed by the body.  The contrast dye is colorless and will feel sticky until completely washed off. 

You will then be directed to a nearby restroom to get cleaned up and dressed.  The technologist will provide discharge instructions in both verbal and in written form.  You will be escorted out of the department through reception.

Post-procedure Information:
The radiologist (doctor) will read the images and dictate a report.  Your physician will receive a report of the findings within 3 business days and should advise you of the results.

***Important***:  Drink plenty of water (8-10 cups/day) for a few days following the procedure to flush the contrast dye.  The contrast dye is colorless and leaves the body as you urinate. Please be sure to follow the discharge instructions given to you after your procedure.

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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100