A cystogram is an X-ray examination of the bladder. It may be performed to detect polyps or tumors of the bladder, urinary abnormalities, or other conditions. A cystogram is performed on an empty bladder, so patients are asked to use the restroom immediately before the procedure.

The Cystogram Procedure

During the cystogram, patients lie down on their back and a catheter containing contrast dye is inserted into the urethra. The contrast dye helps create detailed images of the bladder. X-ray images of the bladder are taken as soon as it is full. The catheter is then removed, and the patient is asked to empty their bladder. Another X-ray of the bladder is taken after urination to determine whether any contrast dye has remained in the bladder.

A radiologist interprets the results of the cystogram, creates a detailed report of their findings, and shares them with the doctor. Normal test results indicate no abnormalities within the bladder, while abnormal results can indicate varying conditions for which a doctor will develop a customized treatment plan for the patient.

Risks of Cystogram

A cystogram is a relatively safe test, although there is a slight risk of infection from the catheter. Another risk is a possible reaction to the iodine based dye that is injected into the bladder. There is relatively low radiation exposure during this test, however, patients who may be pregnant should notify their physician prior to this examination.

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