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At UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we believe parents and guardians can contribute to the success of this test, and we invite you to participate. Please read the following information to learn about the test and how you can help.
A voiding cystourethrogram (sis-toe-you-ree-throw-gram), or VCUG, is a video X-ray of the bladder and urinary tract at work. The bladder stores urine made by the kidneys until it is time for your child to go to the bathroom.
A VCUG is done at the Department of Pediatric Radiology of Children’s Hospital. In the room will be a pediatric radiology doctor, an X-ray technologist and, sometimes, a nurse. You will see an X-ray machine, a long table and a television screen. You might explain to your child that the X-ray is a large camera for taking pictures that will be shown on the screen.
A boy will be asked to lie on the table. The doctor or X-ray technologist will wash the tip of his penis around the opening where the urine comes out, using a cotton swab and liquid soap. This may feel cold.
A girl will be asked to lie on the table holding her legs in a “frog position,” bending her knees and putting the bottoms of her feet together. Using a cotton swab and a liquid soap, the doctor or X-ray technologist will wash between her legs to clean the skin. This may feel cold.
We welcome your help and support during this test. Parents or guardians are invited to join your child in the examination room. Other children can wait in the waiting room, or the Lemieux Sibling Center if siblings are ages 3 to 12 who are toilet trained.
When the doctor and X-ray technologist have taken all the X-rays they need, they will check to make sure the pictures are clear, which takes only a few minutes. Before leaving, you will be given contact information for questions and you will be told about follow-up care.
If your child has any special needs or health issues you feel the doctor needs to know about, please call the Department of Pediatric Radiology at Children’s before the test. It is important to notify us in advance about any special needs.
Preparing your child beforehand, as well as comforting your child during the test, will help your child have a more positive experience. Sometimes it is difficult to know how to explain tests to children. If you have any questions about ways to prepare or support your child, or feel your child will have difficulty during the test, please call the Department of Pediatric Radiology at Children’s and ask to speak with the Child Life Specialist.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
For questions about a hospital bill call:
To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system.
Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.