Complex urodynamics testing is done to evaluate the workings of the patient’s bladder. A patient or their doctor will generally request such testing if the patient is mild to severely incontinent, the cause of the incontinence is unknown, there are multiple causes of incontinence, or the patient is going to have surgery.
Basic Urodynamics Test
A simple urodynamics test can be done in the doctor’s office. The patient will arrive at the office with a full bladder and then urinate into a container. The doctor will measure the amount of urine being excreted and the rate of excretion. Afterwards, a catheter will be inserted through the urethra into the bladder and measure any remaining urine. The catheter may also be used to fill the patient’s bladder with water until the patient needs to urinate again.
The doctor will be looking for such things as the amount of urine left in the bladder after urinating, when the patient feels the urge to urinate, and when the patient can no longer hold back urine
Complex Urodynamics Tests
Complex urodynamics testing allows doctors to determine the cause(s) of a patient’s bladder incontinence. This allows doctors to study and evaluate the patient’s bladder, urethra, and sphincter muscles. Doctors will also be looking at urine flow, urethra pressure, bladder pressure, and bladder capacity. Complex urodynamics testing can include the following:
Post-void residual volume study
As with the basic urodynamic testing, the doctor inserts a catheter into the patient’s bladder after the patient has urinated. He will drain out the remaining urine and measure its volume, which indicates how efficiently the bladder empties. Anything over 200ml is considered abnormal. High levels of urine can indicate overflow incontinence or a urinary tract infection. If the doctor suspects the latter, he will then send the urine to a lab to check for infection.
Uroflowmetry or uroflow test
This test measures how quickly the patient can empty his or her bladder. The patient sits on a special commode chair with a funnel and transducer underneath. The transducer measures both the volume of the urine and the force of the stream of the urine. An abnormally slow stream points to an obstruction or weak bladder muscles.
Cystometrogram or filling cystometry
The cystometrogram measures the pressure in the patient’s bladder. After the patient has emptied his or her bladder, the doctor inserts a catheter with a small balloon at the end into the patient’s vagina or rectum. The balloon is a pressure sensor. The doctor then uses another catheter to fill the bladder with warm water. He then measures the pressure levels in the bladder, urethra, rectum and surrounding area. The doctor may ask the patient to cough during this procedure which allows them to test for stress incontinence.
During the cystometrogram, the doctor may place small electrodes on both sides of the rectum to record the electrical activity of muscles. The doctor will then study the patterns of electrical impulses and learn about possible problems with nerve signaling between the bladder and the urethra.
Voiding pressure study
As with the uroflow test, the patient sits on the special commode chair and urinates. The doctor will evaluate how well the bladder is working if anything is hindering the urine flow.
At South Lake OB/GYN and Advanced Surgery in Clermont, we offer complex urodynamics testing to help diagnose and treat incontinence issues. If you’re suffering from incontinence, our medical team could be able to help. Contact South Lake OB/GYN and Advanced Surgery today to find out if complex urodynamics testing is right for you.