Cystography is an imaging test that can help diagnose problems in your bladder. It uses X-rays. They may be X-ray pictures or fluoroscopy, a kind of X-ray "movie."
During cystography, the healthcare provider will insert a thin tube called a urinary catheter and inject contrast dye into your bladder. The contrast dye will let the healthcare provider see your bladder more clearly. He or she will take X-rays of the bladder. Cystography is sometimes combined with other procedures. For example, cystourethrography images the bladder and the urethra. The healthcare provider may also use fluoroscopy to watch how the bladder empties while you urinate (voiding cystourethrography). Cystography may show whether any urine backs up into the kidneys (vesicoureteral reflux). Computerized tomography (CT) cystography is sometimes used following trauma or recent surgery.
X-rays use a small amount of radiation to create images of your bones and internal organs. X-rays are most often used to find bone or joint problems, or to check the heart and lungs. Cystography is one type of X-ray.
You might need cystography to find out the cause of:
Other reasons that you may need cystography:
Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to recommend cystography.
You may want to ask your healthcare provider about the amount of radiation used during the test. Also ask about the risks as they apply to you.
Consider writing down all X-rays you get, including past scans and X-rays for other health reasons. Show this list to your provider. The risks of radiation exposure may be tied to the number of X-rays you have and the X-ray treatments you have over time.
Tell your provider if:
You are at risk for a bladder infection because a thin tube (catheter) is put into your bladder during the test. The catheter may also cause bleeding or hematuria.
Certain things can make the results of the test less accurate. These include:
You may not be able to have cystography if you:
You may have other risks depending on your specific health condition. Be sure to talk with your provider about any concerns you have before the procedure.
You may have a cystography test as an outpatient or as part of your stay in a hospital. The way the test is done may vary depending on your condition and your healthcare provider's practices.
Generally, a cystography follows this process:
You do not need any special care after a cystography. You may go back to your usual diet and activities, unless your healthcare provider tells you differently.
You should drink additional fluids for a day or so after the test. This will help the contrast dye flush out of your system. This will also help prevent a bladder infection.
You may have mild pain when you urinate. Or you may see a pink color in your urine for a day or two after the test. This is considered normal.
Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these happen:
Your healthcare provider may give you other instructions, depending on your situation.