URODYNAMICS

 

WHAT IS A URODYNAMIC STUDY?

A urodynamics study is the most accurate test to assess how your bladder and urethra are functioning. It provides information that can help your doctor diagnose urinary tract problems and help determine best treatment. During this investigation readings of the pressures within the bladder and urethra as well as X-rays are taken to give an outline of your bladder and urethra.

 

Common problems that may be investigated with a urodynamic study include:

  • Stress urinary incontinence - incontinence brought on by activity such as coughing or exercise

  • Urge urinary incontinence - frequent and urgent urination or incontinence

  • Poor urinary stream and a feeling that the bladder isn't properly empty

  • Men with urinary blockage symptoms where it is unclear if the problem is prostate related

  • Men with incontinence after prostate surgery

  • Urinary difficulties associated with neurological diseases including spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson disease

  • Painful bladder conditions

 

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE STUDY?

You will first be asked to pass urine into a special toilet that measures your urine flow. Next, very narrow catheters are inserted into the bladder (via the urethra) and rectum. These fine tubes are connected to a computer to measure the pressure in the bladder. The bladder tube is also used to gently fill up your bladder with fluid. During the test you will be asked to cough, and strain to determine how your urinary tract functions. Remember that it is expected that you may leak urine during the test. You will be asked to void (empty your bladder) during the test. Don't be embarrassed by this stage of the test, as it will help work out what the problem is. The actual study takes about 30–40 minutes. However, the preparation time can take longer and you should allow approximately 1-1.5 hours. Please see the following video for a demonstration of a urodynamics study.

 

 

 

 

 

WHY AM I HAVING THIS STUDY?

The aim is to reproduce your troublesome urinary symptoms so that further treatment can be accurately planned. This is important to remember, as some people are embarrassed and try to avoid 'wetting' during the study. Do not be embarrassed. It is in fact very useful if you do lose urine during the study (if this is the problem for which you are having the test) as seeing how your bladder behaves at its worst provides your doctor with more information.

 

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR THIS STUDY?

  • Ensure that you have had a recent urine specimen to check for urinary tract infection

  • Ensure that you have completed a bladder diary if previously asked by your doctor

  • Continue taking all your other medications (including warfarin and aspirin)

  • Come to the urodynamics study with a comfortably full bladder. Do not overfill your bladder - you should not be in pain

  • No fasting is required as only local anaesthetic is given

  • You can drive yourself to and from the appointment.

 

WILL IT BE UNCOMFORTABLE?

Local anaesthetic gel is used to numb the area before inserting the tubes but there may be some mild discomfort. Most patients find that this test is not as unpleasant as the chronic bladder problems with which they have been living.

 

IS IT SAFE?

Although very safe, there are a few situations in which the study is not recommended or may need to be modified. Tell your doctor if:

  • you are allergic to iodine or X-ray contrast

  • you are allergic to any antibiotics

  • you are pregnant or could be pregnant

 

ARE THERE ANY COMPLICATIONS?

Generally, this is a very safe test with a low rate of complications. However, the following can occur:

  • Burning discomfort on passing urine (dysuria) – which usually resolves with increased fluid intake and if required, the use of Ural sachets and paracetamol.

  • Blood in the urine (haematuria) – which is usually temporary and clears with increased fluid intake

  • Urinary tract infection – if you have symptoms of infection (with marked increase in urinary frequency, pain on urination, urgent urination or high temperatures), please inform your doctor as you will need treatment with antibiotics. You may be given prophylactic antibiotics before/after your test, if you have certain risk factors.

  • Rarely, difficulty in urination may require a temporary catheter (if you do not already have one before the study)

 

WHEN WILL I KNOW THE RESULTS?

The doctor will explain the results on the day, but a follow up appointment is necessary to discuss in more detail and to properly plan your treatment.

 

If you have any queries please contact Geelong Urology on 03 5229 9105 during business hours

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