Urodynamic Studies: About These Tests

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What are urodynamic studies?

Urodynamic studies are a group of tests that show how your body stores and releases urine. The type of test varies from person to person. A simple urodynamic test is done in a doctor's office. Other tests may be done in a hospital or surgery centre.

Why are these tests done?

These tests are done to help find out why a person has symptoms such as:

  • Leaking urine.
  • Feeling the need to urinate often.
  • Pain when urinating.
  • A weak stream of urine.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections.

How can you prepare for the test?

You may be asked to arrive for the test with a full bladder.

What happens during the test?

For basic urodynamic testing:

  • You will urinate into a container while the amount of urine and how fast it flows out of the bladder are measured.
  • A thin, flexible tube called a catheter is then inserted into the bladder through the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. This catheter helps measure how much urine is still in the bladder. You may feel a slight burning sensation when the catheter is inserted.
  • The bladder may be filled with water through the catheter until you have the first urge to urinate. The amount of water in the bladder is measured at this point. Then more water may be added while you resist urinating until you no longer can keep from urinating.
  • The doctor will remove the catheter.

What else should you know about the test?

  • Sometimes X-rays are taken during a test. If they are, your bladder may be filled with fluid that will show up on an X-ray.
  • You may be sore after the test. Soaking in a warm tub may help.

How long does the test take?

  • How long the test will take depends on the type of test you have. Ask your doctor how long your specific test or tests should take.

What happens after the test?

  • You will probably be able to go home right away.
  • You can go back to your usual activities right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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