Benefits vs Risks of a Voiding Cystourethrogram

Voiding Cystourethrogram Benefits

  • Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) images provide valuable, detailed information to assist physicians in diagnosing and treating urinary tract conditions to prevent kidney damage.
  • Imaging of the urinary tract with VCUG is a minimally invasive procedure with rare complications.
  • A VCUG can often provide enough information to direct treatment with medication, avoiding more invasive surgical procedures.
  • The imaging process is fast, painless and less expensive than alternatives such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • No radiation remains in a patient's body after an X-ray.
  • X-rays usually have no side effects.

Voiding Cystourethrogram Risks

  • There is always a slight chance of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation. However, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs the risk.
  • For a child that is 5-10 years old, the effective radiation dose from this procedure is about the same as the average person receives from natural background radiation in 6 months. For an infant, the effective radiation dose from this procedure is about the same as the average person receives from background radiation in 3 months.

Minimizing Radiation Exposure

Special care is taken to use the lowest radiation dose possible while producing the best X-ray images. At Sky Ridge, we follow national and international radiology protection council standards.

Modern-day X-ray machines have tightly controlled X-ray beams that filter the beams and control the dose of radiation. This ensures that parts of a patient's body not being imaged receive minimal radiation exposure.