Urodynamic testing

February 05, 2024

Urodynamic testing

Urodynamic testing or urodynamic studies help diagnose issues with the bladder, urinary sphincter (the muscle between the bladder and urethra) and urethra, which are also known as lower urinary tract, to find the true causes of bladder control problems.

What can urodynamic testing do?

Urodynamic studies can include several tests from checking the contractions of the bladder and sphincter, the bladder's ability to hold urine, urinary incontinence and stress incontinence.

Who should get urodynamic testing?

Those with the following symptoms should get urodynamic testing:
  • Moderate or severe urinary incontinence
  • Recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Issues with urination control including frequent urination, incomplete urination, need to strain hard when urinating
  • Weak flow of urine, bladder not fully emptied

How is urodynamic testing done?

There are several procedures for urodynamic testing. Considering an individual patient's symptoms, the doctor decides on the most appropriate. Some patients may require more than one test, out of the following:
  • Uroflowmetry measures the amount, time taken, and the flow strength to check the function of the bladder while urinating.
  • Pressure flow study simultaneously measures the pressure inside your bladder and the flow of urine while urinating to see if there is a problem with a blockage or weak bladder muscles.
  • Postvoid residual urine test measures the amount of urine left in your bladder after you urinate.
  • Cystometry measures the pressure inside the bladder as it’s being filled to see the changes in pressure in the bladder and the function of the sphincter.
  • Video urodynamic tests use a catheter to fill the bladder with contrast dye and take x-rays of the bladder while it fills and empties to get detailed data.

Are there any risks or complications with urodynamic testing?

There are few risks and complications of urodynamic testing. Some that may occur include the following:
  • Urinary tract infections, in which case antibiotics may be prescribed before and after the test to prevent infection
  • Urethral injury from catheter placement, usually mild
  • Allergy to contrast dye used in video urodynamic tests

What are the contraindications for urodynamic testing?

Any patient able to comply with instructions can get urodynamic testing, except those with urinary inflammation or urethral stricture, who need to be treated first.


How to prepare for urodynamic testing

  • No fasting is required before the test.
  • Some tests such as Cystometry require insertion of a rectal catheter. The patient thus needs to empty the bowels possibly with laxatives to get clear examination.

What to do after urodynamic testing

Patients can carry out their normal daily activities. There may be slight discomfort and pain during urination. This will disappear within 24 hours. Drink a lot of water to help flush out urethral irritation. 
The Urology Center, Bumrungrad Hospital, features a team of experts in various subspecialties in diagnosing and treating a comprehensive range of the urinary system diseases. Equipped with modern technology, diagnosis and treatment of diseases are accurate with effective outcomes.

By Dr. Charuspong Dissaranan

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