Urodynamic Studies

Urodynamic Studies Instructions (pdf)

What to Expect

Your urodynamics test will last approximately 60 minutes.  The test is generally painless, so you don’t require sedation. 

To begin your test, the nurse will ask you to empty your bladder in a special chair.  Therefore, we ask that you please make every attempt to come to the clinic with a full bladder.  The nurse will then place a small catheter into the bladder to see how well you emptied your bladder and to check for a urinary tract infection. If a urinary tract infection is present, your test will be rescheduled following antibiotic therapy. 

During the test, two small tubes (catheters) are inserted into the body: one goes into the bladder and the other one goes into the vagina or rectum.  The nurse performing the procedure will determine where the second catheter will be placed after reviewing your doctor’s clinical notes.  The tube that goes into the bladder will be used to fill the bladder with water and will measure the pressure in the bladder.  The other catheter will measure the pressure in your abdomen.  During this procedure, we will also monitor the sphincter muscle of the urethra and its ability to hold urine in your bladder.  Any slight discomfort you may feel during the test should go away within a few minutes.

Prior to filling your bladder with water, the nurse will give you instructions on sensations and feelings that need to be noted during the procedure. As your bladder is being filled with fluid through the tube (catheter), you will tell the nurse what your bladder feels like.  When your bladder is full, several other tests will be performed to aid your doctor in diagnosing and treating your condition(s).  You may be asked to cough or bear down to mimic the symptoms you are experiencing.  The nurse will monitor your bladder function, urethral function, and muscle activity during the test.  After the test, you will be asked to empty your bladder.  Everything will be explained to you as the test is being performed. 

The catheters will be taken out when the test is over.  You may experience minor discomfort where the catheters were placed, but this will only last for a few hours.  A warm tub bath may help ease discomfort.  It is also important to increase your fluid consumption over the next 24 to 48 hours.  Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water unless you have a medical condition which limits your fluid consumption.

After the tests are completed, you should continue your regular diet, medications, and activities unless given other instructions by the doctor. 

Your Results

The results of your studies will be reviewed with you in detail by your doctor.  You may have an appointment scheduled immediately following the test.  Sometimes an appointment will be scheduled on another day for result review.

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