IVP X-ray

An IVP is a special X-ray exam of your kidneys and other parts of your urinary system. This includes your ureters (the tubes leading from the kidneys) and your bladder. Another name for this test is "IV urogram."

Preparation for Your Exam

In order to see the kidneys well on X-ray, we need to "clean out" the bowel. We ask that you follow this simple diet:

On the day before your exam, eat a light lunch and dinner. An example of a light meal would be: clear soup, plain chicken or turkey, broiled meat, mashed potatoes, and Jell-O. Do not eat heavy food or roughage.

At your drug store, buy a 10 ounce bottle of magnesium citrate. You do not need a prescription. Drink it at 8 pm on the night before your test.

Drink as much clear fluid as you can during the evening. Clear fluid includes: water, apple juice, and tea/coffee without milk or cream. But stop eating solid food after 8 pm. On the day of the exam, do not eat solid food. You may continue to drink clear liquids up until 3 hours before your appointment.

If you have a history of severe allergies or asthma, you may be asked to take some medicine called prednisone before your scan. Please ask your doctor for more information.

Special note:

If you are scheduled for any other test on the same day, please be sure to ask if there are any dietary requirements. If there are, please consult your doctor or call the radiology department.

If you have asthma or any allergies to foods or medications, be sure to inform the technologist and the Radiologist before the test.

What About My Medications?

If you need regular medications on the morning of your test, take them with water.

I have diabetes. Are there special instructions for me?

If you are a diabetic and take insulin or another medicine for diabetes, please check with you doctor to see if your medicine will have to be adjusted while you are not eating.

If you are taking Glucophage (metformin), for diabetes, please be sure to tell the person doing your exam. You will be given special instructions about your medication.

What Else Do I Need to Do or Know?

If you have asthma or any allergies to foods or medications, be sure to tell the people who are doing your exam. Also, be sure to tell them about any reactions to X-ray dye you've had in the past. Tell them even if you think the information is on your record, or you think they already know about it. This is for your safety. You will be getting a dye for this test, and some people who have allergies are also allergic to the dye.

If you have been scheduled for any other X-ray test on the same day as your IVP, call the radiology department to make sure one test will not interfere with the other.

During the Exam

First, a technologist will take a "test" X-ray to see if your bowel is empty enough for the test. If there are a lot of gas or bowel contents over the kidneys, we may have to reschedule your test. If not, we will start an IV (intravenous) line in your arm. We will give you a special X-ray dye through the IV. This dye will outline the kidneys and urinary system so we can see them on X-ray. This will show the Radiologist (the doctor who reads the X-rays) how well your kidneys are working, and the structure of your urinary system. After the injection, we will take a number of X-rays. Each time, you will be asked to hold your breath for a brief period. After the Radiologist has seen your bladder fill with dye, we will ask you to go to the bathroom to urinate. Then, we will look at your empty bladder on X-ray.

Will it Hurt?

No. However, some people experience a mild feeling of warmth or coolness with the injection. Others experience a "metal" taste. If you experience nausea or breathing difficulties, please inform the technologist.

How Long Will it Take?

The exam takes about one hour. Occasionally, more time is necessary when we need to take delayed films.

After the Exam

When may I eat? In most cases, you may eat as soon as the exam is over.

Making an Appointment

When you call, we'll ask you for basic information such as your Social Security number. We'll ask you what type of test you need to schedule, and will schedule you for the best possible time. If you need to reschedule your exam, you can call us back and we'll be happy to arrange a better time for you.

When you call to schedule your exam, we'll also give you important information about preparing for the exam. If your doctor has scheduled the exam for you, and you have questions regarding the preparation or the procedure itself, you can call the imaging department where your procedure is being performed (please refer to our 'Locations' page for exact phone numbers).

Your physician will have several tasks to perform:

Complete the necessary paperwork to order the test (similar to writing a prescription for medication)

Fax, mail, or place the order in our computer system

Call us to schedule a test for you or have your physician call us directly

Obtaining Your Images

Exam Image Availability

DRC's state-of-the-art PACS technology offers you immediate access to the images of your radiologic exam. No longer does your physician have to wait to have copies of your films made. Although we can still print your X-ray on film for you with just 24 hours notice, your physician can now review your exam images immediately via the Internet. We offer safe and secure web access for your physician through Specialty Networks. Your privacy and HIPAA compliance is assured.

Images on a CD

If your physician prefers, the digital images from your study can be written to a CD-ROM, giving him/her a permanent record that can be accessed easily and quickly via a computer. CDs hold multiple studies and take up significantly less space than the traditional film in the brown envelope. A 24-hour notice is also requested to create this digital record for you.

Versatile Image Viewing Options

Internet access to your studies for your doctor is available immediately after your pictures are taken. Copies of your images can be obtained on a CD or on film with 24 hours notice.

Both Internet and CD viewing offer your physician the ability to digitally adjust your images in ways not possible with traditional X-ray film. Using the computer, the image can be made lighter or darker or zoomed for better visualization of a particular portion, for example. Your physician can fine-tune the images to accommodate his or her preferences.

Obtaining Copies of Your Images

To receive a CD or film copies of exam images, please follow these steps:

1. Call the location where your examination was performed (please refer to the locations page). Please provide your name and other identifying information along with the study being requested. With 24 hours notice, we can either create a CD-ROM or print a film for you. Our representative at the imaging center will provide you with the times available to pick up the exam.

2. To protect your privacy, please be sure to bring a picture ID when you pick up your CD/films, you will have to sign a Medical Images Release form when receiving your CD/films. If anyone else picks up your CD/films for you, please be sure to give him or her your written authorization to release your information to him or her.

3. If you would like us to send a copy of your study to a physician outside the DRC system, we will need a signed release from you along with the study you would like sent and the receiving doctor's name and address. You can fax or deliver us that release in the form of a signed letter at the fax number listed on the locations page. Please allow us plenty of time to send your films.

Any Costs

Currently the first set of films is provided at no cost to the patient. There is no charge for CD-ROM's and, of course, the Internet is always free.