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IVP Test For Kidney Stones

UNDERSTANDING INTRAVENOUS PYELOGRAM

Physicians who are consulted for excruciating back pain and painful urination can recommend an IVP test for kidney stones.  IVP, short for intravenous pyelogram, is often used to find out the location and size of the kidney stones.  This procedure involves the introduction of iodinated contrast material or an iodine dye through the veins and into the ureter, the urinary bladder, and the kidneys.  An IVP test for kidney stones is a non-invasive procedure that takes a radiograph image of the kidneys and the urinary tract.  Such images produced by the IVP test for kidney stones can help the physician determine if there are abnormalities in the urinary system.  The patient’s ability to quickly and efficiently handle waste is also determine through this test.

If you are recommended for an IVP test for kidney stones, your physician should be able to run you through the entire procedure.  Instructions to prepare you for the procedure will also be given by your physician.  In all likelihood, you will be asked to eat or drink anything after midnight on the eve of your IVP test.  To clear your system, you might also be given a mild laxative to take that evening.  Medications or existing allergies should also be discussed with your physician to avoid any adverse reaction to the iodine dye.  Those who are pregnant will not be allowed to go through this test as the radiation in the x-ray could harm the fetus.

This diagnostic procedure is often done on an outpatient basis.  There is not much inconvenience in the procedure as the patient simply has to lie down on a radiographic table and let the machines and the iodine dye do their work.  You might be asked to hold your breath and lie on your sides or in several other positions so the radiologist can take images in different angles.  When the required images are capture either in video format or on film – or sometime both, the patient can wait for the results to be read by the radiologist and then proceed to his physician for the necessary treatment advise.  The whole procedure can take anywhere from one hour to four hours depending on how fast your kidneys empty.

There are usually no side effects to the iodine dye and the radiation that a patient undergoes with the IVP test for kidney stones.  No radiation is left in the patient’s body after the IVP test, nor are there traces of the iodine dye left in the body for long periods.  The iodine dye is simply flushed out of the body without pain or discomfort.  About the only adverse reaction that may be experienced with this diagnostic procedure is an allergic reaction to the dye.  This could be treated promptly by the physician.

The treatment for kidney stones will depend on the results of the IVP test and other diagnostic tests your physician might recommend.  Those stones that are miniscule can be simply passed through the urine by drinking lots of water.  Those, however, that are larger than 5 mm would have to be removed.  There are several methods of kidney stone removal that you can ask your physician about.  Also, your doctor should be able to tell you how to prevent further stone formation as soon as the type of kidney stone you have is determined through laboratory examination.

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