The lower urinary tract has two main functions, storing and emptying urine. The bladder is a muscle – lined organ which collects urine until you are ready to release it. The urethra is a canal which carries urine from the bladder out of the body. Pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and urethra to keep them in the proper position. To store urine, the bladder muscle stays relaxes as the urethral muscle (sphincter) contracts. To empty urine, the urethral sphincter and pelvic floor muscles relax while the bladder contracts.
Urodynamic testing is utilized for the following reason:
You may be incontinent (leak urine)
Your bladder may not empty completely
You may have uncomfortable symptoms, such as the frequent need to urinate or a constant, urgent need to urinate
Your urine stream may be intermittent or weakYou may have persistent urinary tract infections
Urodynamic testing provides valuable data on the bladder’s function which allows your physician to make the best recommendations for treatment. This is a simple painless study which does not require sedating medication. When you arrive at the office for your test, you will be asked to undress from the waist down and a drape or grown will be provided. The study usually takes between 30-45 minutes.
Several different tests are used to evaluate the efficiency of the lower urinary tract. Because of your particular symptoms and concerns, test which you can expect to be performed at your appointment are below:
UROFLOWMETRY: This test measures the amount and rate of urine you void from your bladder.
CYSTOMETRY: This test evaluates how much your bladder can hold, how well the bladder muscle functions and how the neurological signals work that tell you when your bladder is full. This is the primary test used to reproduce and evaluate symptoms of incontinence and other bladder problems.
URETHRAL PRESSURE PROFILE STUDY: This test evaluates the amount of pressure in your urethra. This information can be useful in evaluating the cause of incontinence.
PREASSURE FLOW STUDY: This test is an in-depth measurement of the pressure and flow of urine out of your bladder. This study is valuable for evaluating problems with emptying urine.
You will be asked to return to your doctor’s office in a few days for your results. The test results will include a summary of the study results, a diagnosis of the problem, suggestions for further evaluation as well as a treatment plan.