What is urodynamics?
Urodynamics is a test to assess bladder function and the bladder outlet. It helps in making a diagnosis about the cause of your bladder problems, and can help guide treatment decisions. For example:
- In men, it can sometimes be difficult to know if urine symptoms are caused by a bladder or a prostate problem (an example would be men who are still troubled after a TURP
- In women with mixed incontinence (both stress and urgency incontinence), it is sometimes helpful to know which of the two is the main problem, and how much each problem contributes to overall symptoms.
There are other situations in which urodynamics are helpful, which will be discussed with you if relevant to your problems.
How is the test done?
The test is done as a day case, and only takes about 30 minutes. It is not painful. You will be asked to empty your bladder in private, into a special toilet, and the flow rate will be measured.
Soft, thin tubes will be inserted into your bladder and back passage to record pressure readings during the test. A small amount of local anaesthetic jelly is used to help insert the urine catheter.
The bladder is filled with sterile water until you feel the need to urinate. You will be asked to cough at various stages during the test. At the end of the test, you will be asked to empty your bladder again, and the catheters will be removed.
After the test
You will be able to leave shortly after the test. Analysing the results takes some time, so it is normal to bring you back to an out-patient appointment to discuss this in detail. The test will help pinpoint the cause of your urine problems, and assist in deciding the right treatment for you.
What are the risks of this procedure?
All procedures have the potential for side effects. Although these complications are well recognised, the majority of patients do not have problems after a procedure.
There are specific risks with this procedure, and these will be discussed with you before your procedure. As a guide to complement that one-on-one discussion with your surgeon, these include:
- Some mild discomfort when passing urine for a couple of days
- Some mild bleeding in the urine
- Infection in the urine
- More serious infection (sepsis) requiring hospital admission and intravenous antibiotics
If you develop a fever, severe pain on passing urine, inability to pass urine or worsening bleeding, you should contact the practice immediately. If out of hours, please go to your nearest emergency department.
This information is intended as an educational guide only, and is here to help you as an additional source of information, along with a consultation from your urologist. The information does not apply to all patients.
Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.