What is a fluoroscopic or image guided urodynamic study? 

A urodynamic study is a study of how the bladder and urethra work by taking pressure readings using sophisticated computerised equipment. Fluoroscopic or image guided means that x-ray or ultrasound is also used  at the same time to give a comprehensive assessment of your lower urinary tract issues.

Who should have urodynamics?

A fluoroscopic or image guided urodynamic study is the “gold standard” test for assessing lower urinary tract function. It provides invaluable information that can help diagnose urinary tract problems and help determine the best treatment for you. Urodynamics helps determine the best treatment of the following problems:

Urinary incontinence brought on by activity e.g. coughing, exercise (“stress incontinence”).

Frequent and urgent urination as well as loss of urine on the way to the toilet (“urge incontinence”).

Poor urinary stream and sensation of incomplete bladder emptying.

Men with urinary blockage symptoms where it is unclear if this is a problem related to the prostate.

Incontinence after prostate surgery such as radical prostatectomy.

Urinary difficulties associated with neurological diseases including problems  such as spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Painful bladder conditions, Prolapse problems in women, Recurrent infections where further investigation is required.

What happens during the urodynamic study?

The procedure is performed under a local anaesthetic and takes about an hour in total (but allow 2 hours to include preparation time).The first part of the test usually involves passage of urine into a special toilet which measures the flow of urine. At the beginning of the procedure, a flexible cystoscope (small telescope) will be inserted into the bladder to inspect the urethra and bladder lining. After this, a fine catheter is inserted which fill the bladder with fluid and allow pressure measurements to be recorded. A second catheter is placed into the rectum. These fine catheters are connected to a computer to provide pressure readings as the bladder fills with fluid. You are then asked to describe your sensation of bladder urgency or discomfort during the procedure. During the study you will be asked to cough, strain and pass urine to determine how the urinary tract functions.

Are there any risks?

The test is very safe. There is a small risk of urinary infection and sometimes you will be given an antibiotic to prevent this. You may initially feel some burning when you urinate but this usually settles very quickly. There may be some blood present in the urine after the procedure, this is normal and nothing to be concerned about as this should  settle on it’s own. If you have an“irritable” bladder these symptoms may be a little worse for a short period after the test has been completed.

Do I take my usual medications prior to the test?

There are many medications that can potentially affect bladder function so please let us know before the time of your scheduled appointment what you are taking.  For example If you are taking tablets that affects bladder control (eg Ditropan, ProBanthine, Vesicare, Detrusitol, Tofranil, Endep or Prothiaden) please advise the doctor before your procedure.

Do I have to fast for my procedure?
No, there is no fasting required for this as it is done under local anaesthetic. You may eat and drink as normal.

Do I have to stay in hospital overnight?
No, this is a day procedure only.

Can I drive myself home after the procedure?
Yes, this is done under local anaesthetic, meaning you are safe to drive after your procedure.