Urodynamics is the study of the holding or storage of urine in the bladder, the way the bladder empties, and the rate of movement of urine out of the bladder during urination. It is an in-office evaluation and typically takes about an hour. Urodynamics was developed to investigate a variety of bladder problems including urine frequency, incontinence (leakage), urinary retention (the inability to empty the bladder), and nocturia (getting up at night). And in some cases, urodynamics uncovers bladder dysfunction in patients who were unaware that a problem existed.
Preparation For Urodynamics
It is important that we have an accurate history of your urinary tract behavior prior to performing urodynamics. Therefore please make sure you complete the urodynamic questionnaire and two-day bladder diary before you arrive. If the questionnaire and bladder diary are not completed, your urodynamics will be rescheduled. You may eat and drink normally before urodynamics. Please arrive 20 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.
The ﬁrst part of urodynamics involves urinating on a computerized toilet; therefore it is very important that you arrive with a comfortably full bladder.
After you urinate, a very small catheter will be inserted into your bladder and second catheter will be inserted into either your rectum or vagina. These catheters are sophisticated, micro-measuring devices which provide useful information about the bladder, urethra (the tube empties your bladder), and pelvic muscles. Your bladder will be gradually ﬁlled with sterile ﬂuid to determine how much your bladder holds and how it responds.
Then you will be asked to cough and bear down to see if leakage occurs. Do not be concerned if you do leak, as this is one of the reasons for performing urodynamics. Then you will be allowed to urinate again, but this time with the catheters in place. The last part of urodynamics involves slowly withdrawing the catheters while measuring the urethral pressure.
Urodynamics rarely cause complications or problems. Less than 5% of women develop a bladder infection after urodynamics. Temporary irritation may occur after the testing, resulting in a feeling of burning with urination; this usually only lasts a few hours and goes away without any treatment. Drinking adequate amount of ﬂuids the day after your test helps prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Some patients worry that urodynamics is painful, but most patients leave surprised that the test was so easy.
- If you feel that you may have an infection, please notify us so that the proper antibiotics can be prescribed to cure the infection. Urodynamics should not be performed when a bladder or kidney infection is present.
- If you have a medical condition such as mitral valve prolapse, artiﬁcial joint, or implanted prosthetics which requires you to take antibiotics before visiting the dentist, please inform us so that the proper antibiotic can be prescribed prior to your urodynamics.
The results of your urodynamics will not be discussed on the day of testing. In order to allow time to thoroughly review your test results, you will be brought back in about 3-7 days to discuss further options and recommendations.