Urodynamic studies are a series of diagnostic tests that evaluate the mechanical function of the lower urinary tract system including the bladder, sphincters, and urethra. The tests are designed to determine the ability of the bladder to store and release urine effectively. These assessments may be recommended if you have urinary incontinence (leakage of urine), recurrent bladder infections, slow or weak urinary stream, incomplete bladder emptying or frequency with urination or urinary retention. These tests provide important information to guide your physician to accurately diagnose and treat your bladder condition appropriately.
Condition it treats:
Urinary tract infections, urine leakage, and painful or frequent urination
Types of Urodynamic studies:
- Cystometrogram (CMG)- This study evaluates bladder filling and storage functions. This test helps determine how much urine the bladder can hold and how well the bladder is functioning.
- Electromyography (EMG) – This study evaluates the electrical activity of the muscles and nerves of the pelvic area. EMG is used if a urinary problem is from nerve or muscle injury. Sensors that measure the muscles and sphincters are used during the filling and emptying of the bladder.
- Uroflowmetry – This test measures the amount of urine and the speed of urine when voiding. Measuring the flow of urine can identify if there is a blockage (from an enlarged prostate, as an example).
- Pressure Flow Study – A pressure flow study measures the pressure in the bladder with urination. This test also measures the urine flow rate. This test can determine if there is an obstruction of the urethra and a weak bladder or other issues.
The physicians at urology associates will talk with you about your urinary symptoms to identify which treatment is best for you. You may be asked to provide a clean urine sample for a simple urine test. You will also be asked to complete a bladder diary. This diary will give the doctors a detailed history of your urinary habits.
How to prepare for a Urodynamic study:
You will be asked to fill out a bladder diary. This information will help guide your treatment. Please bring this information to the appointment.
Please arrive to the appointment with a full bladder. You will be asked to urinate at the beginning of the test.
You may eat or drink anything prior to the study. Take your medications as normally scheduled, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
During the exam, a catheter with a special sensor will be carefully placed in your urethra. A catheter may also be placed in the rectum.
The test will take approximately 1 hour. It is generally painless, so no anesthesia is necessary. Typically, results for the tests are available immediately after the test.
Upon the completion of the test, you will resume all normal activities, including driving.