Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) is a live X-ray test that helps to assess bladder capacity and the ability of the bladder to empty. Any abnormalities of the bladder and the urethra including any space occupying pathology or narrowing of the urethra following the development of a urethral stricture are detected.

You may be asked to undergo a voiding cystourethrogram if you have

  • Suspected stricture of the urethra
  • Difficulty in emptying urine
  • Suspected fistulous(tract) opening into the bladder or urethra from the vagina
  • Following surgical repair of a fistulous opening into the bladder or urethra to determine the success of the repair
  • Suspected urethral diverticulum: you may have symptoms like recurrent urinary tract infections, dribbling of urine after voiding, painful sex, feeling of urgency to pass urine and painful urination
  • Assessment of success of surgery for urethral diverticulum

Procedure: This is an office procedure and is performed by an X-ray technician under the supervision of the doctor. After changing into a hospital gown, you will lie down on your back at first and a preliminary image will be taken of the abdomen and the pelvis. A catheter will then be placed into your bladder through the urethra and sterile water with dye mixed in it will be injected. As the bladder fills with dye, X-rays will be taken at appropriate time intervals.

The catheter will then be removed and you will be asked to urinate into a container while live X-ray images are taken. Once the bladder is emptied, a final image will be taken. The entire test takes approximately half an hour to one hour.

Voiding cystourethrogram is a safe test with minimal risks. You may experience some minor discomfort when the catheter is inserted. After the test, there may be some slight pain when urinating for up to 48 hours and the urine may seem slightly pink. You can resume your daily activities immediately after the test. Notify us if you have persisting discomfort, fever or urine appears bright red.

If you are premenopausal, you will be asked to fill the details of your last menstrual period so as to ensure that you are not pregnant at the time of the test.

Is there any risk of radiation?

The dose of X-ray that you will be exposed to in this test is minimal and is equivalent to the background radiation that you naturally are exposed to over a month.

Dr. Hegde understands that it is natural for you to feel shy or embarrassed during the test. But Dr. Hegde and the nurses are dedicated professionals who will make this experience as comfortable as possible. The test is performed in the clinic and is painless and hence no sedating medication is necessary.
UPHI offers gentle, compassionate care with an understanding and patient nurses and assistants that can put you at ease and address your anxieties about undergoing voiding cystourethrogram testing.

You will be assigned a nurse continence specialist on being given an appointment for the test. You can call her at any time of the day for any queries you may have regarding the test. At UPHI, you always come first!

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