Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG)
Table of Contents


The urinary bladder stores urine produced by the kidney and further passes urine out of the body through the urethra. Sometimes, urine flows backward instead of leaving the body. The urine reflux results in urinary tract infections, including kidney infections (pyelonephritis). Kidney infections can eventually cause scarring or damage to the kidneys.

A voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) is routinely performed by radiologists in people having repeated urinary tract infections to avoid chronic infections damaging the kidneys. At Arete Hospitals, voiding cystourethrogram test in Hyderabad, is performed by an experienced team of paediatric urologists, radiologists, nurses, and technologists. The team is dedicated to making every patient’s visit as pleasant, safe, and comfortable as possible.

Benefits of Voiding Cystourethrogram

  • It is a minimally invasive test that utilises fluoroscopy- a special, X-ray technology, to visualise the urinary tract and bladder of the child and check for any abnormalities or blockages.  
  • It can determine the reason behind recurring urinary tract infections and urinary voiding problems in children.
  • It can help diagnose vesicoureteral reflux- a condition wherein the urine flows in the wrong direction, from the urinary bladder back up the kidneys.
  • It can help evaluate the filling and emptying of the urinary bladder and even possible bladder leakage.
  • It helps discover the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment or anti-reflux surgery.
  • The X-rays used are of typical diagnostic range and so have no side effects.
  • Although X-ray radiation is acquired by contrast dye to create images of the inside of the urinary tract, no harmful radiation is left out after an X-ray test.

VCUG Test in Hyderabad is performed at Arete Hospitals. For more details, visit the radiology and urology department of the hospital.

What Is Voiding Cystourethrogram?

Voiding cystourethrogram is one of the diagnostic services offered by urologists. It is a video X-ray imaging test that urologists use to see how well the urinary system is working. It is ordered to check for urethral and bladder abnormalities. The test involves taking video X-rays while the bladder is filled and emptied of a liquid solution containing contrast dye. The contrast dye gets detected by X-ray and shows up as a bright colour.

Voiding cystourethrogram test in Hyderabad helps look at the shape and size of the bladder and how well it gets filled and drained of urine. It even tells the direction of urine flow and if there is any issue with urine leaving the bladder. 

Preparation for Voiding Cystourethrogram

  • There are no specific preparations required for Voiding cystourethrogram.
  • The urologist must be informed of the current intake of medications, recent illnesses or medical conditions, or allergies, especially to iodinated or barium contrast dyes. Women who may be or are pregnant should inform urologists before the test to avoid risks. 

To prepare the child for the voiding cystourethrogram test, the parents can help them:

  • Practice lying still for 10-15 minutes at a time.
  • Practice holding their breath for shorter periods.

To learn more about how to prepare for a VCUG test, consult urologist in Hyderabad at Arete Hospitals for detailed information.

What Happens During Voiding Cystourethrogram Test?

This is what one can expect during the voiding cystourethrogram test.

  1. Getting into the right position- The patient gets dressed in a hospital gown. Once ready, he or she is asked to lie on the X-ray table. If a girl, she is asked to position herself like a frog with knees bent and feet together. If a boy, he is asked to lie flat on his back.
  2. Minimising exposure to X-ray radiation- Urologists practice the imaging scans correctly and thoroughly while exposing the patient to the smallest amounts of radiation possible. For this, the patient’s body parts are covered with a protective apron in areas that don’t need imaging.
  3. Preparation for X-ray exam- The urologists clean the site around the urethra of the patient with liquid soap and water. For male patients, the tip of the penis is thoroughly washed while for female patients, the vulva is cleaned properly. Once done, the urologists slide a soft, thin tube called a catheter into the urethra of the patient.
  4. The X-ray exam- The test is performed in a room with dimmed lights to see clearly the video of X-ray imaging on the television screen. The urologist starts examining the patient’s urinary system by moving the X-ray machine over the lower abdominal area without touching it. During the exam, a liquid mixture containing contrast dye is sent through the catheter into the urinary bladder. When the bladder gets full, the catheter is removed and the patient is asked to empty the bladder. Adult patients are asked to urinate in a urinal or bedpan and paediatric patients are asked to urinate in a bedpan, on the exam table, or in a cup. As they empty the bladder, the urologist or radiologist will continue to take X-ray images.   

 For more details on VCUG test and Complete Urine Examination Tests in Hyderabad, pay a visit at Arete Hospitals.

After Voiding Cystourethrogram

Patients can feel little soreness when they urinate for the initial few times after the test. A warm bath can be taken to get quick relief from the soreness.

Child patients may feel some discomfort or a bit of stinging sensation while peeing or have pink urine. The test results are normally sent to the concerned urologist within 48 hours of the test. If the urologist needs an urgent test report, it’s possible by immediately contacting the person in charge.

  • The patients can return home immediately after the test and resume their normal routine activities.
  • It is recommended for them to drink plenty of water and pass urine as soon as they feel the urge to prevent urinary tract infection.
  • Caffeine intake should be limited and healthy liquids like water, juice, and milk intake must be encouraged.
  • Follow-up visits to the urologist are advised to go over the results of the test.   

Cost of Voiding Cystourethrogram in Hyderabad

The Price or Cost of VCUG in Hyderabad may vary based on the following factors:

  • The patient’s age, gender, and condition
  • The urologist or radiologist's expertise and experience.

For more details, visit the top Radiology Center in Hyderabad at Arete Hospitals.

Effectiveness of Voiding Cystourethrogram

A voiding cystourethrogram is very effective in detecting vesicoureteral reflux. However, the rate of detection depends upon the patient’s age, gender, and clinical presentation during urinary tract infection diagnosis.

Risks Associated with Voiding Cystourethrogram

As a child is exposed to ionising radiation- the X-rays, during the Voiding Cystourethrogram test, there is always a slight possibility of cancer from excessive radiation exposure. However, X-ray accurately diagnoses the patient’s urological condition and this benefit outweighs the risk of using X-ray imaging. At Arete Hospitals, paediatric urologists in Hyderabad have been the leaders in adjusting their equipment and procedures to deliver the lowest dose of X-ray to their paediatric patients.

  1. Voiding Cystourethrogram could even be risky for women going through Voiding Cystourethrogram in pregnancy.
  2. Besides this, rarely people may react poorly to contrast dye used in voiding cystourethrogram. The potential minor reactions include nausea, vomiting, and hot flashes. More serious side effects are hypotension, swollen mouth or throat, difficulty breathing, and cardiac arrest.
  3. There is even a chance of urinary tract infection, as seen with the use of a urinary catheter into the urethra.
Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does the voiding cystourethrogram test take?

The voiding cystourethrogram test lasts for about 30-45 minutes.

2. How painful is voiding cystourethrogram?

Patients can expect slight discomfort during the VCUG Urinary Tract Imaging Test in Hyderabad, especially at the time of insertion of a urinary catheter. Moreover, they will feel uncomfortable with a filling of the bladder and the need to pee, but will not be allowed. For some patients, the test could be stressful or cause anxiety and nervousness.

3. Which urinary tract infections need a VCUG test?

For infants and children aged above 2 months and not toilet trained, a VCUG test is recommended by a paediatric urologist after the occurrence of a second febrile urinary tract infection or following the first febrile UTI when a renal abnormality is detected. For infants aged below or equal to 2 months, a VCUG test is needed after a first febrile urinary tract infection.   

4. What does the normal and abnormal result mean for a VCUG test?

A normal VCUG test report will show the urethra and bladder of normal size and shape and the urine flow to be normal. However, abnormal test reports may indicate urological conditions. These include an enlarged prostate, urinary reflux neuropathy, ureterocele, scarring or narrowing of the urethra, diverticula on the bladder walls or urethra, and neurogenic bladder.

To receive top-notch VCUG urinary reflux testing services in Hyderabad, consider visiting Arete Hospitals today, renowned for their exceptional radiology and urology departments.

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