Urodynamics means the study of pressure and flow in the bladder and the tube through which you pass urine, the urethra. These investigations show what is happening when the bladder is filling and emptying. If you’ve been booked for urodynamic studies you will have been experiencing bladder or prolapse problems and Dr Aruku has decided that you need to have these tests done to accurately diagnose and determine the treatment options.
When Do You Need Urodynamics?
Not everyone with bladder problems needs urodynamic studies. They’re most useful where:
· There may be a mixture of symptoms, or uncertain symptoms
· Where an operation may be considered and the doctor wants to make sure it is necessary and will be helpful
· Previous treatment has not improved the problem eg physiotherapy or medication, or
· After surgery for bladder or prolapse repairs.
Urinary symptoms like incontinence (leakage of urine), frequency, dribbling etc. do not accurately tell the doctor what may be wrong with you. Urodynamics forms part of a total assessment of your bladder problem and will help us make an accurate diagnosis so that you get the right treatment options explained to you. It may even avoid unnecessary surgery. Also it guides the surgeon as to what may happen to your bladder or bowel after surgery.
What is involved?
Please attend with a comfortably full bladder. When you arrive you’ll be asked to pass urine, in private, into a toilet or commode. You’ll be asked to change into a dressing gown and lie down on a couch. The doctor will examine your bladder through a fine scope called a flexible cystoscope. Then fine hollow tubes will be passed into your vagina and bladder. These tubes are attached to a chart recorder that monitors the pressure in your bladder and abdomen.
The bladder will gradually be filled with fluid. You’ll need to indicate to us what sensations you feel eg. Normal desire to pass urine and urgency. During the filling of your bladder you will be asked to cough every so often. Once the bladder is full we will get you to stand and cough again and do some easy exercises like heel bounces. After this you’ll be asked to pass urine into a special receptacle, which will record rate of flow of urine. The staff will usually be able to let you do this in private. The tubes will then be removed and the procedure is complete.
While the procedure is taking place, the recording device records a graph of what your bladder is doing. Your test results will be discussed with you by the doctor and treatment options explained. The procedure should take between 20 and 30 minutes. Try not to worry –everything will be fully explained to you both before and during the procedure and every effort will be made to ensure a minimum of discomfort and maximum privacy
Do I Need to Prepare for the Investigations?
Yes. Please attend clinic with a comfortably full bladder. If you have a urine infection please contact us so that another appointment can be made for you.
Most people have no problems after the procedure is performed. You should drink plenty of fluids for the remainder of the day. There will be a small amount of irritation caused by catheters, this should subside in 24-48 hours. If you do experience burning or stinging when passing urine we suggest you purchase a packet of ural sachets from your local pharmacy. If discomfort persists after 48 hours please contact your local doctor or Dr Aruku’s clinic.