About the Scan – Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray examination performed by SMIL that scans the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder with the use of iodinated contrast material injected into veins.

When a contrast material is injected into a vein in your arm, it travels through the blood stream and collects in the kidneys and urinary tract, turning these areas bright white on the x-ray images. An IVP allows the SMIL radiologist to view and assess the anatomy and function of the kidneys, ureters and the bladder.

An intravenous pyelogram examination helps SMIL radiologists assess abnormalities in the urinary system, as well as how quickly and efficiently your system is able to handle fluid waste.

The exam is used to help diagnose symptoms such as blood in the urine or pain in the side or lower back.

The IVP exam can enable the radiologist to detect problems within the urinary tract resulting from:

This IVP examination performed at SMIL is usually done on an outpatient basis. During the exam, you will be positioned on the table while x-ray images are taken. The contrast material is then injected, usually in a vein in your arm, followed by additional still images. The number of images taken depends on the reason for the examination and your 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 SMIL 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 SMIL 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.

Learn how to prepare for the scan in the intravenous pyelogram section.

Find out if this procedure is right for you in the benefits and risks of intravenous pyelogram section.

For a downloadable/printable PDF about this exam with preparation instructions click here.

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Appt started on time. Technician was pleasant and professional.
, Dec 18, 2017
I have to have X-rays every time I see the doctor due to the injuries. And I go here because he can access these fries office. This time it was a much better experience. It seems though they aren’t all on theme page. I always request a Cd of the XRays and the X-ray tech gave nepme a green card and said give it to the receptionist, she’ll write you name on it and hold it al the counter so she remembers she is waiting for it.....I tell thee ratio it’s this, she takes a sticky note , writes my last name on it and places it on her desk which is floating in papers.....the card you take out there is bright green and about 5x8...if she’d kept that she could hand it it worked out....but why doesn’t the left hand know what the right hand is doing. And which one of them intend the X-Ray tech was the manager of the department......so
, Dec 5, 2017
The staff was so very kind and helpful! The X-ray room was rather small though. It was hard to get in with my knee scooter. But the tech was so kind to help me navigate and move things. Everyone was great!
, Mar 7, 2018
Very nice building. Welcoming and pleasant space and atmosphere. The appointment was fast and efficient.
, Feb 1, 2018
How lucky I am to have SMIL. The most professional, skilled and caring people on earth are always there for me. Tough MRI for elbow but they put me at ease and did everything possible for my comfort. Thanks again - you’re the best! Linda K. Helm
, Oct 15, 2018