What is Urodynamic Testing?
Urodynamic testing (or a urodynamic study) encompasses all procedures that look at how well the bladder, sphincters, and urethra are functioning. Mostly, urodynamic tests will focus on the bladder and issues with incontinence, specifically testing its urine holding ability. Urodynamic procedures are only performed if symptoms suggest an issue with the lower urinary tract.
Your doctor may recommend one or more of the urodynamic tests if you are experiencing the following:
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Urine leakage
- Sudden urge to urinate
- Problems emptying the bladder completely
- Urinary tract infections (more than one)
Both men and women can be given urodynamic tests in order to aid in diagnosis and proper treatment of the cause of urinary issues/incontinence.
Types of Urodynamic Tests
Urodynamics cover a variety of testing procedures to check bladder function. The seven types of urodynamic tests include:
- Pressure Flow Study: Measures the bladder, flow rate and pressure.
- Leak Point Pressure Measurement: Measures the point at which leakage occurs while coughing, lifting, sneezing, etc.
- Electromyography: Measures the electrical activity of muscles and nerves to determine if it is related to nerve or muscle damage.
- Uroflowmetry: Measures the amount of urine and speed of urine flow.
- Cytometric Test: Measures how much pressure is in the bladder as it fills and at what point the bladder is filled when the urge to go is present.
- Post-void Residual Measurement: Measures the amount of urine left in the bladder after urinating. 100 milliliters or more means the bladder is not emptying properly.
- Video Urodynamic Tests: Combines cystometry, cystography and uroflowmetry into one single test to measure pressure and flow combined with x-ray and ultrasound.
There is little to no risk in undergoing urodynamic tests. The testing is done in the office setting and provides information for your doctor to help guide treatment. You may experience some soreness for a few hours after urodynamic testing or a small amount of blood in the urine from the insertion or the catheter. Drinking lots of water will help ease these symptoms.
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