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What Happens During a Bladder Scan?

Male Urinary Tract
Male Urinary Tract
Medical Illustration Copyright © 2015 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

Female Urinary Tract
Female Urinary Tract
Medical Illustration Copyright © 2015 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

The test is done in a radiology department by a technician under a doctor’s supervision. No special preparation is needed.

You will be asked to lie on a scanner table. After the urethra is cleaned, a thin, flexible tube (called a catheter) is placed through and into the bladder.

The liquid with radioactive material is moved through the tube to fill the bladder and you feel the fullness. The bladder is then scanned, and images are taken of the bladder and kidneys.

You may also be asked to urinate during the test. If the doctor is looking at how the bladder empties, images are taken when the bladder is full and then again after it’s emptied.