Voiding Cystourethrogram In Children


  • Voiding cystourethrogram (sis-to-u-re-THRO-gram) (VCUG) is an x-ray procedure to look for problems in your child's urinary system. The urinary system is made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The urine flows from the kidneys down through tubes called ureters. From the ureters, the urine goes down and is stored for a short time in the bladder. Urine passes out of the body through another tube, called the urethra. VCUG is used in children with urinary tract infections, trouble passing urine, or nerve problems in their bladder. It is also done to check congenital (born with) kidney problems, kidney stones and dilatations (widening), and bladder trauma.

  • During your child's procedure, the x-ray pictures will show how well the bladder, urethra, and ureters are working. A small bendable catheter (tube) is placed into the bladder through the urethra. In boys, the tube is passed through the penis. The passage of the catheter may cause discomfort, particularly in children who are unable to relax. Contrast medium (dye) is slowly dripped through the tube to fill the bladder. When the bladder is full, your child is asked to void (pass urine). X-ray pictures are taken while voiding occurs. Having a VCUG done on your child may diagnose his disease so proper treatment may be given.



  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help prevent or treat an infection caused by bacteria.

  • Pain medicine: Your child may need medicine to take away or decrease pain. Know how often your child should get the medicine and how much. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell caregivers if his pain continues or gets worse. To prevent falls, stay with your child to help him get out of bed.

    • Keep a current list of your child's medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list and the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Give vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.

    • Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Ask before you change or stop giving your child his medicines.

Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.

Wellness hints:

  • Ask your caregiver how many glasses of liquid your child should drink each day. Follow your child's caregiver's advice if your child is on fluid restriction. For most children, good liquids to drink are water, juices, and milk. Limit the amount of caffeine your child drinks. Caffeine may be found in tea, some soda pop and some sports drinks and foods.

  • Eating a healthy diet: Offer your child healthy food from all of the 5 food groups: fruits, vegetables, breads, dairy products, meats and fish. Eating healthy foods may help your child feel better and have more energy. It may also help your child get better faster.

  • Exercising: Encourage your child to exercise daily. Exercise may help make the heart stronger, lower blood pressure, and keep your child healthy. Talk to a caregiver before your child starts to exercise to be sure it is safe.

  • Passing urine: Urinating should not hurt. If you think your child is hurting when he urinates, call your child's caregiver.

For more information:

Contact the following for more information:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
    141 Northwest Point Boulevard
    Elk Grove Village , IL 60007-1098
    Phone: 1- 847 - 434-4000
    Web Address: http://www.aap.org


  • Your child has a fever.

  • Your child has pain in the area where the catheter (tube) was inserted.

  • You have questions or concerns about your child's care or medicines.


  • Your child has a fever.

  • Your child has nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up).

  • Your child has discharge or more pain in the area where the catheter (tube) was inserted.

  • Your child's urine has blood in it.

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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.