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Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

How It Is Done continued...

During IVP, a compression device may wrapped around your belly to keep the dye in the kidneys. The most common compression device is a wide belt containing two inflated balloons that push in on either side of your belly to block the passage of dye through the ureters. If you have recently had abdominal surgery or have an abdominal disorder, the band will not be used.

A special type of X-ray technique called fluoroscopy may also be used during IVP. During fluoroscopy, a continuous X-ray beam is used to display a moving image on a video monitor.

IVP usually takes about an hour.

After the test

After the test is over, you will need to drink plenty of liquids to help flush the contrast material out of your body.

How It Feels

You will feel no discomfort from the X-rays. The X-ray table may feel hard and the room may be cool. You may find that the positions you need to hold are uncomfortable.

You will feel a brief sting when the needle is inserted into the vein in your arm. When the contrast material is injected, you may feel slight burning in your arm and flushing throughout your body. You may also notice a salty or metallic taste in your mouth.

The compression belt may feel tight. If it is painful, tell the technologist and ask that it be readjusted.

You may feel slightly weak, nauseated, or lightheaded for a short time after the test.


There is always a slight chance of damage to cells or tissue from radiation, including the low levels of radiation used for this test. But the chance of damage from the X-rays is usually very low compared with the benefits of the test.

There is slight risk of having an allergic reaction to the contrast material. The reaction can be mild (itching, rash) or severe (trouble breathing or sudden shock). Death resulting from an allergic reaction is very rare. Most reactions can be controlled with medicine. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have asthma or allergies of any kind, such as hay fever, iodine allergy, bee stings, or food allergies.

People with certain conditions (such as diabetes, multiple myeloma, chronic kidney disease, sickle cell disease, or pheochromocytoma) have increased chances of having sudden kidney failure from IVP. Older adults and people taking medicines that affect the kidney may also have increased chances for problems after an IVP.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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