What is Urodynamic Testing?
Urodynamic tests measure bladder function and efficiency. Urodynamics refers to a group of tests that are performed to examine the bladder’s ability to empty steadily and completely. This group of testing can also evaluate abnormal bladder contractions, bladder storage, and the flow of urine. These tests focus on the lower urinary tract, which includes the bladder, the urethra, and the sphincter muscles. The patient’s provider will order the tests if he or she suspects a problem in these areas.
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Why is it done?
Increasing age, chronic illnesses, injury, and pregnancy can cause problems in the urinary system. The bladder and urethral muscles become weaker with age, increased pressure, and decrease in estrogen. Weak muscles may cause problems in emptying the bladder completely or more commonly, urinary incontinence. Reasons for Urodynamic Testing may include:
- Frequent urination
- Involuntary release of urine, also called Incontinence (could be leaking urine with coughing, sneezing, laughing)
- Sudden, strong urges to urinate
- Problems starting a urine stream
- Painful urination
- Problems emptying your bladder completely
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- You are considering having surgery
What is involved?
- The patient will be instructed to arrive for testing with a full bladder
- She will provide a clean catch urine sample and then continue to void into toilet
- She will then be asked to undress from the waist down. Then, she will then lie back on an exam table with her feet in the stirrups, similar to a pap test. A speculum will not be used.
- A catheter will be used to perform a variety of tests, which may include a post-void residual, urethral retro-resistance pressure, a cystometrogram, and/or a leak point pressure. This will take about 20 minutes.
After the testing, the patient will be asked to return to the office in 1-2 weeks to discuss the results with her provider. Please make an appointment with your provider for more information.