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Diagnosis Urology

Urethral Injuries

In making a diagnosis of urethral injury, your doctor will begin by asking about any events that may have caused trauma to the urethra, including a pelvic fracture, straddle injury or penetrating injury near the urethra, such as a gunshot wound. A thorough physical examination will then be conducted to check for any symptoms associated with urethral injuries. Blood along the perineum or at the meatus, which is the opening of the urethra, are signs of injury. A high-riding prostate gland also may indicate injury to the urethra.

A retrograde urethrogram also may be performed. This imagining test is commonly performed to diagnose urethral injury or narrowing. It is performed in a hospital radiology department, operating room or in a health care provider's office by an X-ray technician under a physician's supervision. There is no special preparation required. Dye is injected directly into the urethra and X-rays are taken to check for injury or narrowing.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.