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Urology Health Topics

This information is approved and/or reviewed by U-M Health System providers but it is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for medical treatment. You should speak to your physician or make an appointment to be seen if you have questions or concerns about this information or your medical condition. Exención de responsabilidad en Español | Complete disclaimer


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 suspected.

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 monitor.

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