Urology Center of Englewood

Urodynamics

Overview

Urodynamics refers to a group of tests that assess how well the lower urinary tract (the bladder and urethra) is storing and releasing urine. Urodynamic testing may be used to assess several different urinary problems, including urine leakage; frequent urination; painful urination; sudden, strong urges to urinate; problems starting a urine stream; problems completely emptying the bladder; or recurrent urinary tract infections.[1]

What Does Urodynamic Testing Involve?

The choice of which test or tests to use will depend on your symptoms and other health information. Urodynamic tests include the following:

Uroflowmetry: This test measures how fast your urine flows during urination. You urinate into a special toilet or other container that measures your urine.

Measurement of Postvoid Residual Urine: This test measures how much urine is left in your bladder after you urinate. Residual urine can be assessed by ultrasound imaging of the bladder, or by using a catheter (a hollow tube) to finish emptying the bladder.

Cystometrogram: This test is used to evaluate pressures in the bladder as it fills. After your bladder is emptied, a small catheter is inserted through the urethra and into your bladder. Another catheter may be inserted in your rectum or vagina. These catheters allow pressures to be measured at various points during bladder filling. As the bladder is filled with sterile fluid, you will be asked to describe what you are feeling. The test allows simultaneous assessment of the actual amount of fluid in the bladder, bladder pressure, and your perception of the bladder filling.

Pressure Flow Study:  After the cystometrogram, you may be asked to urinate with the special catheters in place. This allows doctors to assess bladder pressure during urination.

Electromyogram: This test measures the electrical activity of nerves and muscles around the bladder. Sensors are placed on the skin or on a catheter.

In general, these tests require very little preparation on the part of the patient. In some cases, your doctor may ask you to arrive at your appointment with a full bladder, or may give you instructions about fluid intake or medication use. During your appointment, local anesthesia may be used for procedures that involve a catheter.

Reference:


 

[1] National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Urodynamic Testing. NIH Publication No. 12-5106. January 2012.