Urodynamic Testing

Urodynamic Testing

Urodynamic Testing Guide

Urodynamic testing is a series of tests that is simple and painless. This study allows the evaluation of any problems your bladder may have with storing and/or emptying urine.

Your lower urinary tract

The lower urinary tract has two main functions, storing and emptying urine. The bladder is a muscle-lined organ which collects urine until you are ready to release it. 

The urethra is a canal which carries urine from the bladder out of the body. Pelvic floor muscle support the bladder and urethral muscle (sphincter) contracts. To empty urine, the urethral sphincter and pelvic floor muslces relax while bladder contracts.

Why do you need a Urodynamic study?

Reasons for offering you this test may include the following:

  • A urine leak or be incontinent
  • Uncomfortable symptoms like the urgency to urinate
  • A weak or intermittent urine stream
  • You may have persistent UTIs 

What will happen during your Urodynamic study?

Urodynamic testing provides valuable data on bladder function for your physician to make the best recommendations for treatment. 

This study does not require sedating medication. When you arrive for the clinic for your test, you will be asked to undress from the waist down and a drape or gown will be provided. This study typically takes  from 15 to 30 minutes.

Types of testing

Several different tests are used to evaluate symptoms of the lower urinary tract. Because of your particular symptoms and concerns, the below tests are what you can expect to be performed at your appointment. Certain medications can effect lower urinary tract function like those notated below.

TIPS before your appointment:

  • Come to the clinic with a full bladder.
  • Stop drinking fluids 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. 
  • Don’t take the below medications 24-48 hours before your appointment
    • Diuretics
    • Caffeine
    • Anticholinergic agents
    • Alcohol
    • Narcotic analgesics
    • Psychotropic agents

Uroflowmentry

The test measures the amount and rate of urine you void from your bladder. This noninvasive study is frequently used to screen for bladder emptying problems. 

What’s the process like?
You will be asked to urinate into a special container that is placed under a commode or into a funnel that’s attached to equipment that will record your urine flow over time.

Cystometry

This test evaluates how much your bladder can hold, how well the bladder muscles function and how the neurological signals work that tell you when your bladder is full.  This is the primary test used to reproduce and evaluate symptoms of incontinence and other bladder problems.

What’s the process like?
A catheter will be inserted through the urethra into the bladder. Through this catheter, your bladder will be filled with sterile water or a saline solution.  A second catheter may be placed in your vagina or rectum to provide additional data. You will be asked to report any sensations that you feel and if they are similar to ones that you have felt at home.  You may also be asked to cough, bear down or stand during this test.

Urethral Pressure Profile Study

This test evaluates the amount of pressure in your urethra. This information can be useful in evaluating the cause of incontinence.

What’s the process like?
The bladder catheter is withdrawn slowly from the bladder and special equipment generates a urethral pressure curve.

Pressure Flow Study

This test is an in-depth measurement of the pressure and flow of urine out of your bladder. This study is valuable for evaluating problems with emptying urine.

What’s the process like?
Pressure flow studies can be performed after cystometry. Patients will be asked to urinate with the cystometry catheters in place into a funnel attached to special equipment.

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