What is an IVP?
An IVP, or intravenous pyelogram, is an x-ray test that provides pictures of the kidneys, urethra, bladder, and ureters. An IVP can measure the size, shape, and position of the urinary tract and evaluate what is collected inside the kidneys. During this test, a dye called contrast material is injected into the arm and then multiple x-rays are taken at different intervals.
IVP is commonly done to identify diseases associated with the urinary tract, kidney stones, tumors, and infection. An ultrasound or CT scan can be combined with an IVP if more details are needed about the urinary tract.
Before having this test done, tell your physician if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as the contrast material can get affect your breast milk. It is also important to inform them if you are allergic to iodine dye as this is the main ingredient in the contrast material. The contrast material used during this test can cause kidney damage if you have poor kidney function, so inform your doctor if you have diabetes or any past kidney problems.
You may also need to stop eating and drinking 8-12 hours before the test to make sure there are no contents to disrupt your wellness after. It is also a good idea to take a laxative to make sure your bowels are empty.
What Happens After?
An IVP is a relatively comfortable procedure where a radiologist will analyze your images and send a signed report to your primary care or preferred physician who will discuss the results with you. Follow-up examinations are one the best way to see if the treatment is working or if further tests and examinations need to be taken.