Pediatric Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)

Special pictures called X-rays will be taken to help the doctor know how your bladder is working. X-rays also tell the doctor about the tubes (ureters) that connect your kidneys to your bladder. An adult is welcome to stay with you through the whole test. (Exception: pregnant women are not permitted in the room during imaging.)

You may bring a special toy like a book, doll, blanket or a hand-held video game to hold during your test.

During the Test

You will change into a hospital gown, remove everything from your waist down and lie on the X-ray table. (Children under 3 years of age will be secured to a long board on top of the X-ray table to allow easier positioning, decreased motion and decreased radiation exposure.) A nurse will be there to help, and will explain everything to you. Next, a small, thin, bendable tube called a catheter will be placed into your bladder. When this tube goes in, it may feel like a pinch or a sting.

To help you relax and lie still, you can blow bubbles, sing, count, or have someone read to you during your test. The technologist or the adult that is with you can help.

Once the catheter is in place, the doctor will come in and meet you. A clear liquid will drip from a bottle through the catheter into your bladder. As this happens, you may feel like you have to go to the bathroom. Do your best to hold it as long as you can, just like you are riding in a car and there is no bathroom nearby. The doctor will take pictures at this time.

You will be asked to go to the bathroom while you are lying on the table. As you urinate, the doctor will take a few more pictures. After your bladder is empty and all the pictures are taken, you are done!

After the Test

It may tingle or feel warm the first time you go to the bathroom, but that feeling will soon go away. You can drink lots of your favorite drinks to make the feeling go away even faster.


Once the examination is complete, the X-rays will be reviewed by the radiologist. A report of the findings will be sent to your doctor.

If you have any questions regarding this test, please call ALMH Radiology at 217-605-5108.