What is Urodynamic Testing (UDS)?
Urodynamic testing refers to the process of performing urodynamics. Urodynamics consist of a series of short procedures to evaluate and measure your bladder’s function and efficiency.
Why is a UDS performed?
UDS can help the physician see how well your bladder and sphincter muscles work and can help explain symptoms such as incontinence, frequent urination, strong urges to urinate, problems starting your urine stream, painful urination, problems emptying your bladder completely, and recurrent urinary tract infections. UDS provides the physician with the information necessary to diagnose the cause and nature of the patient’s problem, thus advising the best treatment options available.
What is the procedure for a UDS?
The UDS usually takes about 60 minutes. You will be instructed to arrive with a full bladder and urinate while sitting on a special commode. If you are unable to arrive with a full bladder, please let our staff know before your appointment. The first test is an Uroflowmetry. While you urinate into a container, the volume of urine and the rate (strength) at which the bladder empties are measured. A thin, flexible tube (catheter) is then inserted into the bladder through the urethra, and the volume of any urine remaining is measured (post-void residual or PVR).
The next test is a multichannel Cystometry (CMG). The “filling phase” looks for any signs of incontinence (leaking urine), records the amount of urine your bladder can hold and evaluates normal bladder sensations. The “voiding phase” evaluates bladder-emptying problems. Next, an Electromyography (EMG) evaluates the electrical activity in your pelvic muscles. Think of this test as an EKG of your anal muscles. Two sticky patches with leads will be placed near your rectum. Next, a Urethral Pressure Profile (UPP) measures the amount of pressure in your urethra. It evaluates the strength of the sphincter (valve) that keeps urine from leaking.
Sometimes a cystoscopy is done at the same time. A cystoscopy is a procedure that allows viewing of the inside of the bladder and urethra under local anesthesia. The cystoscope is a very narrow instrument with lenses, like a telescope.