IVP (Intravenous Pyelogram)

What is an IVP (Intravenous Pyelogram) and what does it do?

An intravenous pyelogram or IVP for short is a radiological procedure used to visualize abnormalities of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, and bladder.

An injection of x-ray contrast medium is given to a patient via a needle or cannula into the vein, typically in the arm. The contrast is excreted or removed from the bloodstream via the kidneys, and the contrast media becomes visible on x-rays almost immediately after injection. X-rays are taken at specific time intervals to capture the contrast as it travels through the different parts of the urinary system. This gives a comprehensive view of the patient’s anatomy and some information on the functioning of the renal system.

Who performs the test?

The exam itself is performed by a Radiologic Technologist RT (R). These technologists are nationally registered with the A.R.R.T. (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) and licensed through the state of Florida.

Where does it take place?

At Jackson Hospital in the Radiology Department.

How long does it take?

Usually takes and hour to an hour and a half. May take longer if there is delayed emptying of the kidneys.

What can I do to make it a success?

  • Bring your orders with you when you come for your x-ray.
  • If you are pregnant, please let your physician know BEFORE you come to hospital for your study.
  • Be sure to follow any preparation instructions you were given.
  • It is recommended that you wear loose, comfortable clothing for the exam. You will need to remove any metallic objects that may be in the path of the x-ray beam (belts, zippers, piercings, etc). To reduce the risk of valuables being lost, it is recommended that they be removed prior to entering the exam room or simply left at home.

What should I do before the exam?

  • No solid foods 4 hours prior to your exam.
  • You may take your medications. Drink plenty of fluids up to one hour before exam. Do not drink milk or carbonated drinks, though.
  • We need a recent Creatinine (within 30 days) if you are 50 years of age or older. This is a lab draw and can be done prior to your study.
  • Our x-ray I.V. contrast contains iodine. If you are allergic to iodine, contact your physician. Your exam may need to be changed.

What happens during the exam?

You will be asked to change into a hospital gown. The technologist will ask questions about your health and history as part of the screening process for the contrast. If you are OK to have contrast, you will be asked to sign a consent form and an IV sill be started in your arm or hand.

You will be asked to lie on our exam table while x-ray images are taken. The contrast material is then injected, usually in a vein in the patient’s arm, followed by additional images; some images will require the camera to move in an arc over your body. The number of images taken depends on the reason for the examination and the patient’s anatomy.

You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. The technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine.

As the contrast material is processed by the kidneys, a series of images is taken to determine the actual size of the kidneys and to capture the urinary tract in action as it begins to empty. The technologist may apply a compression band around the body to better visualize the urinary structures leading from the kidney.

When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.

An IVP study is usually completed within an hour. However, because some kidneys function at a slower rate, the exam may last up to four hours.

What should I do after the exam?

Your IV will be removed and you will be given discharge instructions.

The radiologist will review your image(s) and a final report will go to your ordering physician in 24-48 hours.

Contact Information:

Hospital (main operator): (850) 526-2200
Radiology Department: (850) 718-2580

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