Radiology (Xray)

Retrograde Urethrography

X-ray Appointments RVI: (0191) 282 4330; Freeman Hospital: (0191) 223 1012

What is a Retrograde Urethrogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

A Retrograde Urethrogram is an X-ray examination of the urethra for men, which cannot be seen on a normal X-ray. The urethra is the tube which carries urine from the bladder to outside the body.

A clear fluid or X-ray dye is used to outline the urethra so that it may be examined using X-rays

What does the examination involve?Show [+]Hide [-]

You will be asked to undress and put on a hospital gown.

You will then be asked to lie on the examination couch and the procedure will be explained.

A small plastic tube called a catheter is inserted into the tip of the penis and a small balloon may be inflated to keep the catheter in position. 

The x-ray dye is then introduced into the urethra and you may be asked to lie in different positions to demonstrate the urethra fully.

Occasionally, depending on what your doctor is investigating, we may fill your bladder up, using the catheter and obtain further images during voiding.

When the examination is complete, the x-ray catheter is removed and you may go home or return to your ward.

How does it feel?Show [+]Hide [-]

You may feel a little discomfort as the catheter is inserted and a feeling of fullness in the urethra as the x-ray dye is introduced – this should not last long.

Do I need any special preparation before the examination?Show [+]Hide [-]


What are the benefits of having a Retrograde Urethrogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

This procedure will help us make the correct diagnosis so you will be able to be given the correct treatment.

What are the risks of having a Retrograde Urethrogram?Show [+]Hide [-]

We are all exposed to natural background radiation every day of our lives. Each x-ray examination gives us a small additional dose. This dose varies with each type of examination. Everything is done within the X-ray department to minimise this dose.

This test is carried out using an aseptic technique which involves using sterile equipment, this carries very little risk of infection. Often these tests can be repeated post surgical intervention if required.

I am a diabetic. Does this change anything?Show [+]Hide [-]


I take Metformin (Glucophage, Avandamet) Tablets. Does this change anything?Show [+]Hide [-]


Will I have any side effects following the examination?Show [+]Hide [-]


How long will it take?Show [+]Hide [-]

The examination should be complete in approximately 30 minutes.

Can I drive home?Show [+]Hide [-]

There is usually no reason why you should not drive home.

When will I get my results?Show [+]Hide [-]

A report will be sent to the consultant or GP who requested the procedure, within two weeks of your examination. If you are attending from one of the wards, the radiologist will speak directly to the team looking after you once the test is finished

I need an ambulance/ transport. Do you arrange it?Show [+]Hide [-]

If you need an ambulance/ transport, you should ask your GP Surgery to arrange it, but you will need to give them three working days notice.  Please note that hospital transport is provided on medical need only.

What if I cannot attend for my appointment?Show [+]Hide [-]

If your appointment time is not convenient please can you contact the hospital department that you are attending  so that a more appropriate time can be arranged.  This will enable us to reallocate valuable time to someone else.

Freeman X-ray Appointments     0191 223 1012 (8.30am-5.00pm)

RVI X-ray Appointments               0191 282 4330 (8.30am-5.00pm)

What if I have any comments, suggestions or complaints?Show [+]Hide [-]

Should you have any suggestions or concerns, please make these known to the person conducting your examination or by letter addressed to the hospital that you are attending your examination:

The Departmental Manager            

X-ray Department Level 3                           

Royal Victoria Infirmary                               

Queen Victoria Road                                   

Newcastle upon Tyne                                  

NE1 4LP                                                       

Tel: (0191) 2821099



The Departmental Manager

Main X-ray Department

Freeman Hospital

High Heaton

Newcastle upon Tyne 

 NE7 7DN

Tel: (0191) 2821099

Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm

All Newcastle Hospitals: Switchboard Tel: (0191) 233 6161 (24 hours)

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS.  You can contact them on freephone 0800 032 02 02 or email

Information produced by: Dr R Williams, Consultant Radiologist,  P White Senior Radiographer.

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