This exam evaluates for certain bladder and urethra abnormalities. It can also look for reflux of urine from the bladder back toward the kidneys.
Preparation for the Exam
Gas anesthesia is available. Please contact your doctor if this is requested.
During the Exam
Parents are often allowed to stay in the X-ray room during the test. Your child will be changed into a gown. A pediatric technologist will discuss the procedure with children who are old enough to communicate. Age-appropriate language will be used to explain the exam.
A small sterile catheter is inserted through the urethra into the bladder to empty it. The catheter feels like a “pinch” going through the urethra. The bladder is then filled through the catheter with X-ray contrast (dye). X-ray images are taken of the bladder while it is being filled.
When your child's bladder is full, he or she will be asked to urinate into a roll of towels or a cup while another X-ray image is taken. The catheter will float out, and the child should not feel it as it comes out.
Your child will be placed in different positions while the images are taken. This exam takes about 30 minutes, depending on cooperation from the child.
After the Exam
Your child’s urine may be pink-colored the first time urinating. This is caused by a small amount of blood in the urine. It also may be uncomfortable to urinate, but this usually lasts less than 24 hours.
If your child becomes afraid to urinate, placing him in a bathtub of warm water can be helpful. If your child has persistent difficulty urinating, or if discomfort with urination lasts over 24 hours, call your child’s doctor.