Urodynamic Studies

Urodynamic studies investigate your bladder, urethra, and sphincter to assess their efficiency.    Urodynamics “draws a picture” of what happens when you bladder fills up and when it empties by measuring volumes and pressures.  This helps to understand the problem and decide the best method of treatment.  Your urodynamic test may consist of :
 
Cystometry
 
This tells the physician about the pressures in your bladder in relationship to volume.  It helps the physician see how you bladder reacts to being “full” and whether it is “irritable” – contracts on its own.
 
To determine this, one catheter is inserted into your bladder and another is put into your rectum.  For the purpose of the test, your bladder is filled with sterile water using the catheter.  It is much quicker to fill it this way instead of waiting until your bladder fills on its own.  You will be asked to say when you first feel the urge to urinate and when the urge is maximum.  You will also be asked to urinate.  Pressures will be recorded throughout the procedure.
 
Flow Rate

This test gives information regarding the rate of flow of your urine.  It also tells the physician how much urine your bladder holds.  This test may be abnormal if you have narrowing or blockage of your urethra or a change in the angle of your bladder neck (very common in women).  The test is performed by urinating (with a full bladder) into a commode equipped with a special measuring device.
 
Residual Urine
 
This test measures the volume of urine remaining in the bladder after you empty it.  It is determined by inserting a small flexible catheter into the bladder, allowing the urine to drain and then measuring the amount.
 
EMG (Electromyography)
 
This test shows the physician the electrical activity generated by the urinary sphincter muscle itself in response to a full bladder and to voiding.  This is done by the placing of special electrodes and asking you to say when you first feel the urge to urinate and then asking you to urinate.  The information obtained from this study provides information about the nerves in this area.
 
Urodynamic testing is conveniently done in our Tyler office.  The study usually take about one hour. The only preparation for this diagnostic test is to come in with a full bladder.