IVP or intravenous pyelogram is an X-ray that gives detailed imaging of your urinary tract, including the kidneys, urinary bladder, and ureters. The healthcare providers may get it done if you have any urological complaints. However, nowadays, doctors more commonly prescribe other tests like CT scan and ultrasound, but IVP is also used. You can get a CT scan in Lahore done if you need to.
What are the Purposes to Perform an IVP?
If you have any symptoms of the urinary tract such as blood in urine or pain in the lower back or flank pain, your healthcare provider may ask to get an intravenous pyelogram done.
Through this test, they can get a detailed review of the inside of your urinary tract. They can see how well your kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder is working. Moreover, through it, they can also get to know about any obstruction caused due to various health conditions, such as;
- Kidney stones
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney cysts
- Scarring of the kidney due to a urinary tract infection or surgery
- Medullary sponge kidney- a congenital problem in which there is a defect in tiny tubes inside of the kidneys
In the past times, IVP was commonly used. But now CT scans and ultrasounds have replaced it up to some extent. It is because they put low radiation exposure and are easy to be done and less time taking. In these tests, there is no use of dye, whereas in IVP a dye is injected, which has its own risks. However, IVP can be used as a diagnostic tool for;
- Detecting kidney stones
- To identify certain structural problems
- To know about urinary tract obstruction
What are the Risks Associated With IVP?
An intravenous pyelogram is generally safe. Since you have to get a dye injected, into it, the risks are increased. The dye may have its side effects such as;
- A feeling of warmth or flushing
- A metallic taste in the mouth
If a severe allergic reaction occurs due to the dye, it can lead to;
- Difficult breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Increased breathing rate
- Increased mucus production
However, this kind of reaction occurs quite seldom. Moreover, you do not need to worry as you are already in a hospital setting. If any life-threatening side effect from dye occurs, the healthcare providers can treat you then and there.
If you are pregnant or planning to conceive, you must tell your healthcare provider before the test. During IVP, your body is exposed to radiation that can cause harm to your unborn baby.
How to Prepare for an IVP?
Before the procedure starts, ask all your queries with your healthcare provider. Moreover, give them a complete medical history. Do not forget to tell them;
- If you have certain allergies, especially with iodine
- If you are pregnant or planning to conceive
- Have had a reaction previously to the X-ray dye
Before an IVP, you will have to stop eating and drinking. Your healthcare provider will also ask you to take a laxative that empties your stomach sometime before the test.
There major drawbacks of intravenous pyelogram are;
- You have to get a dye injected, that has its own risk
- It exposes you to radiations
- You have to take a laxative before the test, which will empty your stomach, and you have to fast for a certain period.
Due to these drawbacks, healthcare providers often opt for a CT scan of the urinary tract. However, it is still done when healthcare providers feel its need. You can get a CT scan in Karachi done if you need to.