Micturating Cystourethrogram (MCU)
Lake Imaging offers MCU at:
- St John of God Hospital – Ballarat (see map) Request an appointment
- St John of God Hospital – Geelong (see map) Request an appointment
Micturating cystourethrogram (MCU) is an x-ray study of the bladder and urethra.
You may be referred by your doctor to Lake Imaging for an MCU to investigate or eliminate the possibility of:
- Urinary tract infections
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Congenital abnormalities of the bladder or urethra
- Narrowing of the tube that carries urine out of the bladder in males (urethral stricture)
Your appointment and preparation
A referral from your doctor and an appointment is required for an MCU examination.
When making your appointment please advise us if you have had a previous allergic reaction to x-ray contrast.
What can I expect during a MCU?
Before the procedure begins you will be asked to change from your clothes into a simple gown so that folds of clothing and metal fasteners do not interfere with obtaining clear x-ray images
A thin, flexible tube called a catheter will be gently inserted using a lubricant into the bladder through the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body).
Once the catheter has been inserted, x-ray contrast is injected through the catheter and into the bladder so that the bladder can be seen on the X-ray images. You may be asked to roll slightly from side to side so different parts of the bladder or urethra can be imaged. Once the bladder is filled the catheter will be removed and you will be asked to empty your bladder while X-ray images are being taken to show how the urethra is working.
What are the risks and side effects?
You may experience some discomfort when urinating for the first time following your procedure due to irritation of the urethra from the catheter.
Infection resulting from this procedure is extremely rare.
On rare occasions, a person may have an allergic reaction to the x-ray contrast.
X-rays require the use of ionising radiation. As with all x-rays, there is always a slight risk as you will receive a small dose of radiation. X-rays are only performed where it is deemed the benefit of the examination will outweigh any potential risks. At Lake Imaging you can be assured that using the latest technology and with staff trained in radiation reduction techniques, radiation doses are kept as low as reasonably possible. Our state of the art x-ray equipment uses minimal amounts of x-rays to produce the best quality images for a diagnosis.
If it is possible that you may be pregnant, please tell our radiology team before your x-rays are taken to avoid any risks to your unborn child.
If you are worried or concerned about having x-rays you should discuss this with your referrer before coming for your examination.
For further information regarding radiation safety please visit:
Who will perform my MCU and write the report?
At Lake Imaging your examination will be carried out by a Radiologist (a medical doctor specialising in the interpretation of medical images), who will then prepare and send a report to your referring doctor detailing the findings of your MCU.
What should I expect after my examination?
Once your examination is complete you will be free to leave and return to normal activity. You may eat and drink normally.
How do I obtain my results?
If medically urgent, or you have an appointment immediately after your examination to see your referring doctor or health care provider, Lake imaging will arrange to have your results available immediately. Otherwise, your referring doctor or health care provider will receive your report within 48 hours of your examination.
Please ensure that you make a follow up appointment with your referring doctor or health care provider to discuss your MCU results.