Urodynamics refers to a series of diagnostic tests that evaluate the function of the bladder and urethra. These tests may be recommended if you have urinary incontinence (leakage or urine), recurrent bladder infections, slow or weak urinary stream, incomplete bladder emptying, or frequent urination. These tests provide important information in order for your physician to accurately diagnose and treat your bladder problems appropriately.
What is Urodynamics?
Urodynamics is an in-office test done without anesthesia used to measure how the bladder is behaving during its two roles: storage and emptying. It involves two small catheters, both with pressure sensors at the tip. One is placed in the bladder, the other in either the vagina or the rectum. Both measure abdominal pressure (A), but only catheter (#1) measures the pressure inside the bladder (B). The readings are then compared by a computer and the actual pressure caused by bladder squeeze is reported. The bladder is then filled slowly with fluid and the pressure is recorded. This tells our doctors what your bladder is doing as it is filled.
Normally the bladder is filled by urine sent down from the kidneys, but in this test, the process is replicated with fluid. Your bladder is not supposed to squeeze at all while it is filling. If it does, this may represent Overactive Bladder (OAB). You are then asked to void (use the restroom and empty your bladder) and more data is recorded to evaluate for obstruction often seen in Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH). The entire test usually takes about one hour. You will meet with your doctor to go over the results.