Urodynamic testing for urinary incontinence
Urodynamic testing is a means of evaluating the pressure-flow relationship between the bladder and the urethra. The purpose of this test is to define the bladder’s function and efficiency, while gauging the status of the lower urinary tract. The benefit of performing urodynamics is that it aids in making a faster, more definite diagnosis of the urinary incontinence a patient is experiencing. Oftentimes, patients are unable to precisely explain their urinary symptoms to their physician. Urodynamic testing takes the guesswork out of the diagnosis by giving the provider scientific information. This knowledge helps the provider make the correct diagnosis, and allows them to choose appropriate treatment options.
Urodynamics studies range from simple uroflow evaluation to more complex studies. The most sophisticated study is video urodynamics, which offers a detailed evaluation of the patient who is experiencing incontinence. In this study, the physician will obtain information including uroflow, urine volume, abdominal leak point pressure, and pressure-flow information, among others. The fluid medium for video urodynamics is radiographic contrast. When using radiographic contrast, video urodynamics studies are expensive and not without risk. Patients should talk to their doctor about any risks, and to determine if they are a good candidate for video urodynamics.
Urodynamics testing may be prescribed for patients who have moderate to severe stress or urge incontinence. It may also be recommended when the root cause of incontinence cannot be easily determined by other tests. In addition, urodynamics testing may be favored it the provider feels that there may be more than one factor causing the incontinence.
Prior to scheduling urodynamic testing, the provider will explain its goals, benefits and risks. Due to the length of this testing, the patient will be scheduled to come back for a separate appointment. The patient will also be given specific instructions on how to prepare themselves before they undergo urodynamics.
If you are experiencing urinary leakage, contact Urology Austin to schedule a consultation with one of our providers.