Transcript of Video
Hi, my name is Peggy and I’m a nurse practitioner here in North Woods Urology. For patients who are experiencing incontinence, frequent urination, or sudden, strong urges to urinate, but nothing comes out, we use a urologic study known as urodynamics to understand what’s happening. Urodynamics testing is a unique and sophisticated procedure that focuses on the bladder’s ability to hold urine and empty steadily and completely. The ultimate purpose of urodynamics testing is to duplicate the urinary symptoms you’re experiencing so we can document what is happening. When this is scheduled, it is called a Video Urodynamics Test, or VUDS. This is an important test in assisting diagnosing problems related to urinary difficulties.
Upon arriving with a full bladder, the first part of the test is called a uroflow. This is done privately in the bathroom inside the urodynamics procedure room. You will be asked to undress from the waist down, and urinate on a bedside commode over equipment that will measure how you urinate and the pressure of your urine stream. For the next part of the test, you will be asked to sit on the urodynamics chair in the procedure room. A small catheter is placed in the urethra to fully empty your bladder. How well you are able or unable to empty your bladder is an important piece of information when evaluating your urinary function. If you arrive with a Foley catheter, the initial uroflow portion of the test is not performed. To perform a urodynamics test, a thin catheter is placed through the urethra into the bladder. This measures the pressure inside the bladder. Another thin catheter is placed in the rectum to measure pressure outside the bladder. And a couple of sticky patches are placed on the buttocks to evaluate the pelvic floor muscle activity during testing. These catheters and the patches send information to the computer, which is then evaluated to provide measurements of pressure in and around the bladder, bladder volumes, flow rates, and your ability to adequately empty the bladder.
During the test, X-rays are taken intermittently to visualize the bladder and the urethra. Throughout the urodynamics test, you will be asked to describe what you’re feeling. There are no right or wrong answers in this testing. We are interested in your sensations. The contraster water used to fill your bladder is cooled. This is a normal sensation. You’ll be asked to let us know about four sensations. The first is when you are first aware there is fluid collecting in your bladder. Then when you would think about heading to the toilet. The next one when you would stop what you’re doing or pause your favorite T.V. show to get to the toilet. And the final sensation is when you feel like you cannot hold any more fluid. What else do you need to know about this test? First, please arrive a few minutes early for your appointment. We are unable to accommodate patients who are more than ten minutes late, and will have to ask you to reschedule. You should allow at least an hour for urodynamics testing, about 60 to 90 minutes. You can resume all normal activities immediately after the procedure and will not need to be driven to or from this appointment. Urodynamics testing is not recommended if you are pregnant.
To prepare for testing, eat a normal meal the day of the study and take your medications as usual. Please arrive with a fairly full bladder, taking care not to over-hydrate right before the test. The water you drink in the 30 minutes just prior to the test will take time for your kidneys to process, and will not be helpful for the actual testing. Do not drink caffeine prior to the study. This means if you really need your coffee or tea in the morning, you should probably schedule an early morning test so you can have your morning fix right after the study. Your urine is checked for infection before we start the test. If you are infected, this is called a Urinary Tract Infection, the test will be rescheduled. Doing this test with a bladder infection can drive the bacteria up into your kidneys, causing a more serious infection.
If you think you may have a Urinary Tract Infection in the few days leading up to your urodynamics, please contact our office so we can check your urine before the appointment. If you come with a Foley catheter, you will probably leave with a new Foley catheter. It is not necessary to drink additional water to prepare for the test if you have a Foley catheter. The test is not painful, but only somewhat uncomfortable when the catheter are placed. You may experience some mild discomfort while urinating for a few hours after the test. Please arrive with enough urine in your bladder to evaluate your ability to urinate before we place any test catheters. The risks or complications of testing are small, and related to possible infection. You may have some mild burning or even pass a bit of blood after the test. You will be provided one dose of an antibiotic to take after testing, if you’re not already on antibiotics. But if you have symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency, pressure, burning, or blood in the urine that lasts longer than 24 hours, you should contact our office. There is minimal radiation exposure as we take X-ray pictures all along the testing to get real-time moving images of the urinary tract system. Please know that our goal is to make this procedure as comfortable as possible. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to call our office.