happens when the test is performed?
- You wear a hospital gown and lie on a table in the x-ray department.
A part of your genital area is cleaned with soap on a cotton
swab. Then a soft, bendable rubber tube called a urinary catheter
is inserted into your bladder, usually by a nurse. The tube is
first coated with a slippery jelly and then pushed gently through
the opening of the urethra (at the end of the penis for men and
near the opening of the vagina for women).
You will feel some pressure while the tube slides into the urethra.
Once it is in place, a tiny balloon on the end of the tube is
filled with air to hold it in position. The other end (about
6 inches of tubing) hangs outside of your vagina or penis. The
doctor uses this tube to fill your bladder with fluid containing
a dye that shows up on x-rays. You will feel pressure in your
bladder as it begins to expand.
To create a clear picture, your bladder needs to be filled with
as much fluid as it can hold. You will probably feel a very strong
urge to urinate. A few pictures are taken with the bladder completely
full, and then the balloon is emptied and the tube is pulled
out. You are given a urinal container or a bedpan and asked to
urinate while you are still on the table under the x-ray camera.
Several pictures are taken while your bladder is emptying. Many
patients find this part of the test embarrassing, but it is routine
and the doctor thinks nothing of it.