Retrograde Urethrogram (RUG)
A retrograde urethrogram allows us to evaluate any structural
abnormalities in the urethra including narrowed areas (strictures or
contractures) and outpouchings (diverticulum). This diagnostic test is
commonly performed in male patients when narrowing of the urethra is
The procedure will last about 5 minutes. You will be asked to lie on
your side on an x-ray table. A sterile drape will be placed to provide
privacy. Your urethral opening will be cleansed with betadine to eliminate
any bacteria on the surface. Sterile clear liquid (dye) is placed directly
into the urethra and x-rays are taken to record what your anatomy looks
like. You may feel a sensation of coolness as the dye enters your urethra
and bladder. The fluid may drip onto your skin as the x-rays are being
performed. If you are interested, you can also see the x-rays on the
It is normal to feel some irritation with urination for 24-48 hours
following the procedure. You may also note a small amount of blood in
the urine. You will be given an antibiotic to guard against infection.
You do not have to do anything special to prepare for this study. You
may eat and drink what you normally do. This test is done in the clinic
and does not require sedation or anesthesia. You may resume your usual
daily activities immediately following the RUG test.
Call the clinic nurse if you develop a fever of 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit
or higher, chills, persistent bleeding, or cannot urinate.
Revised by Jerilyn M. Latini, MD , Deborah Crider, NP, Charlene Neer,
RN and Dawna D. Allore, RN., May 2006