Why have a Cystogram?

A Cystogram is a procedure which demonstrates the urinary bladder. It shows the shape and position of the bladder and, in children, can also be used to demonstrate if reflux is occurring (Reflux is the backward flow of urine from the bladder back up to the kidneys).

Preparing for the test:

There is no specific preparation needed prior to a cystogram. Immediately before the procedure the radiographer will direct you to the rest room so that you may completely empty your bladder.

The procedure:

There are two different methods for conducting this procedure. Both are conducted under strict aseptic technique in order to avoid introducing an infection into the renal tract. 

1. No Catheter in place 

The catheter is a small tube which the Radiologist uses to introduce a mixture of contrast media (see contrast media for more information) and saline into the bladder. The Radiologist will first cleanse the urethral area with Savlon and then pass a small tube through the urethra into the bladder. This may sting a little. The contrast media is then introduced and the Radiologist will watch on the x-ray screen as the bladder fills. More images may be taken in different positions. 

2. Catheter already in place 

If you have a catheter in place, the Radiologist will use this to administer the contrast media. The contrast media is introduced and the Radiologist will watch on the x-ray screen as the bladder fills. More images may be taken in different positions.

Following this, if the Radiologist introduced a catheter into the bladder, it will now be removed. You will be sent to the rest room to empty your bladder. 

If you already had a catheter in prior to the examination then it will stay in place for your specialist to remove at an appropriate time. In the latter case, the contrast may be removed either by syringe or by draining into your catheter bag. Once you have emptied your bladder, one final image will be taken to see whether any of the contrast media has remained in the bladder. 

A variation of this procedure is the voiding cystourethrogram. The difference between this and a urethrogram is that towards the end of the procedure, once the catheter is removed, you will be asked to urinate into a pan or bottle. The Radiologist will watch on the x-ray screen to see how the size and shape of the bladder changes during urination.

At the completion of the examination:

Once the Radiologist has acquired the necessary images, you may go home. The Radiologist may be able to give you a verbal result at the end of the examination. You can eat and drink normally. The contrast media is clear so it will not be noticeable in your urine. You may notice spotting when you urinate; this may be due to the small tube scratching inside wall of your urethra. This should only last a small time, but if you are concerned please contact your referring doctor.

After the examination:

The radiologist will review the pictures and provide a written report to your referring doctor. The digital images will be available online (internet) for your doctor to view.

Please settle your account on the day of the examination. 

Please contact Hamilton Radiology for an appointment on 07-8394909 or 0800 HAMRAD (0800426723)

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