Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
An intravenous pyelogram or IVP is a diagnostic tool that is utilized by urologists to examine the condition of the kidneys, ureters and bladder. During this procedure, x-ray imaging is used, and an intravenous contrast material is injected into the patient. As the dye moves through the urinary tract, its progress is recorded by a series of images. An IVP enables the provider to study the anatomy and function of the kidneys and urinary tract for health issues.
Why is Intravenous pyelogram recommended?
Patients may undergo an intravenous pyelogram if they are exhibiting symptoms such as back, abdomen and pelvic pain, or blood in the urine (hematuria). As a diagnostic tool, it will assist urologists in diagnosing conditions such as:
- Kidney stones
- Bladder stones
- Enlarged prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
- Kidney cysts
- Urinary tract abnormalities
- Scarring in the urinary tract
How is an intravenous pyelogram performed?
An intravenous pyelogram is a minimally invasive, painless procedure that can be performed in-office or at an imaging center.
When undergoing this procedure, the patient will be asked to lie on an examination table while contrast (dye) is injected intravenously – usually in the arm. After the dye is injected, the patient may feel flushed, and have a metallic taste in their mouth. Once imaging begins, the patient will be asked to assume different positions to obtain various angles of the urinary system. Just before finishing, the patient may be instructed to leave the examination room to empty their bladder. Once emptied, the patient will return to the examination room for additional imaging.
As with any imaging that uses a contract dye, the provider should be advised, prior to the procedure, if the patient has had allergic reaction to contract in the past. The provider should also be advised if the patient knows they are pregnant, or could be pregnant.
By using an intravenous pyelogram, the provider will be able to better evaluate the patient’s symptoms, and make recommendations for treatment.
If you are experiencing unexplained pain, or have visible blood in your urine, contact Urology Austin to schedule an appointment with one of our urologists.