Many times in the world of medicine there are terms that sound difficult. Some of those words are actually intricate procedures, and others are actually simple procedures that don’t live up to the sound of its name. A procedure that we do at Advanced Imaging Centers is called an intravenous pyelogram. Yes, we know it sounds complicated and scary, but it is not. Let us walk you through exactly what an intravenous pyelogram is.


What is it?


Abbreviated as IVP, an intravenous pyelogram is an x-ray of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder. The reason it’s so special is because an IVP also uses iodinated contrast materials that are injected into your veins. The reason why this material is injected into your veins is because when iodinated contrast material is in the blood stream, it collects in your kidneys and bladder. The x-ray that is taken of your kidneys and bladder will show them being bright white, which makes it easier for the doctor to see what is wrong.


Why is this used?


An IVP is used to see how well a patient’s system can assess and flush out waste. Some common problems that an IVP can detect are kidney stones, enlarged prostate, kidney tumors, and urinary tract infections.


How long does it usually take?


Generally the exam will take less than an hour. Sometimes, however, it could take a few more hours. This is based on how well your kidney functions the iodinated material.


Should I prepare?  


There is some prep involved with this examination. About 48 hours before the exam you should pick up a prep kit from us at the office. The day of the exam you cannot eat or drink anything. As well as this, tell us if you have been sick recently and if you are on any medications, or if you have any allergies towards medications.


What will happen during and after the exam?


During the exam you will be asked to sit in a couple different positions so that the radiologist can capture views from different angles. Also, you may feel discomfort when the needle is put into your vein for the contrast material. Most people say they don’t feel any discomfort other than a feeling of warmth inside the body. After the exam, you will feel normal and we suggest you get something to eat and drink immediately following the examination.


This procedure is pretty quick, easy, and usually is a good indicator of what is going on in your kidneys and bladder. We perform IVPs regularly, so make your appointment today!