What you should know
- Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray to see the urinary tract. An IVP uses x-ray dye to show the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and the urethra. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located in the back abdomen, on both sides of the spine. They filter the blood to rid waste products from the body and make urine. The urine flows from each kidney through a tube called a ureter. The ureters carry the urine to the bladder, where it is stored for a short time. The urine can then pass out of the body through another tube called the urethra.
- During the IVP, a small amount of dye is placed in your vein (blood vessel) through an intravenous tube (IV). The dye helps your caregiver to better see your urinary tract. With IVP, your caregiver will be able to see how well your urine drains. He also may be able to check your urine flow after surgery, and find conditions that affect the urinary tract. Problems after an injury, infections, swelling, stones, and blockages can be seen with an IVP. For some people, other procedures like ultrasound or CT scan can be done instead of an IVP.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- During an x-ray, you are exposed to radiation that is released when the pictures are taken. The dye may cause you to have headaches, nausea (upset stomach), vomiting (throwing up), flushing, or itchiness. The dye may also damage your kidneys and cause them to stop working. You could have a mild or serious allergic reaction to the dye. Reactions to the dye may include passing out, swelling of the lips, trouble breathing, speaking, or swallowing, or low blood pressure. Following your caregiver's advice after the procedure may decrease your chances of having problems.
- Without this procedure, your condition may not be found and treatment may not be given. The signs and symptoms you have may continue and worsen. You may have problems passing urine or have infections that may lead to other medical problems. Tell your caregiver if you are worried or have questions about your procedure, medicine, or care.
The week before your procedure:
- Ask your caregiver before using any herbs or supplements. Tell your caregiver if you already use these.
- Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after the procedure, especially if you have never been given x-ray dye before.
- People who are allergic to the shellfish (lobster, crab or shrimp) can also be allergic to some x-ray dyes or iodine. Tell your caregiver if you have allergies to any food, medicine, rubber or dye.
- Your caregiver may give you steroid medicine to help prevent an allergic reaction to the dye. Ask your caregiver for more information about this medicine.
- Tell your caregiver if you have had an IVP or other procedures before, and when they were done.
- If you are female, tell your caregiver if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
- Tell you caregiver if you have other diseases, such as diabetes, or kidney or heart diseases.
- You may need to have blood or urine tests, or other x-rays. Ask your caregiver for more information about these and other tests that you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
The night before your procedure:
- Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your procedure:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
- Ask your caregiver before taking any medicines on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring all the medicines you are taking, including the pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
- What to bring: You may want to bring items such as a toothbrush and bathrobe.
- Do not wear tight-fitting clothes on the day of your procedure or surgery.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal piece of paper (consent form). It gives your caregiver permission to do the procedure. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your treatment or procedure choices. Be sure all your questions have been answered before you sign this form.
What will happen:
- You will be taken on a stretcher to the radiology (x-ray) room and then moved onto a special bed or table. You will be asked to lie on your back. X-ray pictures will be taken before you are given the dye. Your caregiver will check the first x-rays taken, and will then put the dye into your IV tube. A band may be put around your stomach. This band can be tightened to help keep the dye in your kidneys for a short while.
- Several x-ray pictures will then be taken over time. More pictures may be taken as your caregiver pushes down on your abdomen (stomach) and as you change positions. You will be asked to lie on your abdomen and then on your sides. Before the end of the procedure, you will be asked to go to the bathroom and empty your bladder. More pictures may be taken after you have gone to the bathroom.
After your procedure:
You may lie in bed and rest for a while after your IVP. You may also need to start drinking liquids to help your body get rid of the dye. When your caregiver sees that you are OK, you will be allowed to change clothes and go home. If caregivers want you to stay in the hospital, you will be taken back to your hospital room.
This is an area where your family and friends can wait until you are able to have visitors. Ask your visitors to provide a way to reach them if they leave the waiting area.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your procedure on time.
- You have a fever.
- You have questions or concerns about your procedure or condition.
Seek Care Immediately if
- You are not able to eat or drink, or are urinating less or not at all.
- You are vomiting (throwing up).
- You have blood in your urine.
- Your signs and symptoms are getting worse.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.