Urodynamic testing

Involves placing pressure transducers in the bladder and in the vagina or rectum to enable the measurement of bladder and abdominal pressures during filling of the bladder and voiding, and to asses urethral resistance and bladder sensation.

These studies do not indicate the cause or severity of detrusor overactivity.

Refers to a study that assesses how the bladder and urethra are performing their job of storing and releasing urine.

Urodynamic tests can help explain symptoms such as:

incontinence, frequent urination, urge to urinate, problems starting a urinary stream, dysuria, problems emptying the bladder, and recurrent urinary tract infections.

Most often performed for men with enlarged prostate glands, and for women with incontinence that has either failed conservative treatment or requires surgery.

These tests are performed for those with a neuropathy such as spinal injury.

Because symptoms are often an unreliable guide to the underlying dysfunction of the lower urinary tract urodynamics provides objective confirmation of the pathology.

A typical urodynamic test takes about 30 minutes to perform, and involves the use of a small catheter used to fill the bladder and record measurements.

Measurements performed include post-void residual volume.

Free uroflowmetry studies measure how fast the patient can empty their bladder.

Pressure uroflowmetry measures the rate of voiding, but with simultaneous assessment of bladder and rectal pressures.

Pressure uroflowmetry can demonstrate the reasons for difficulty in voiding, such as bladder muscle weakness or obstruction of the bladder outflow.

Multichannel cystometry can measures the pressure in the rectum and in the bladder, using two pressure catheters.

Multichannel cystometry can identify contractions of the bladder wall, during bladder filling, or during other provocative maneuvers.

The strength of the urethra can be tested during this phase, using a cough or Valsalva.

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