Urodynamics is a collective group of tests that allows us to study how your lower urinary tract works. Your lower urinary tract includes the bladder, which stores your urine, and the urethra which is the tube that carries urine from you bladder to the outside of your body.
There are several pieces that make up the study itself. You should plan to arrive with a full bladder. You will be asked to urinate on a special chair that measures how much urine you void and how quickly.
Secondly, a small catheter (about the size of a cooked piece of spaghetti) will be placed into your bladder; through this catheter your bladder will be filled and the pressure of your bladder muscle and its response to being filled will be measured. At the same time an estimate of the pressure outside the bladder will be measured by inserting another catheter of the same size into your rectum or vagina.
Small sticky patches are placed on either side of your buttocks to measure the electrical activity of certain muscles.
The study is done standing and/or sitting as gravity is an important factor in urinary leakage. As the bladder fills, different pressure measurements will be recorded and you will be asked to cough and bear down to check for any leakage. You will also be asked about what you are feeling while your bladder is filling.
When you feel your bladder is full, you will be asked to empty it once again on the special chair. This time, the catheters will still be in place, since they are so small the urine will flow freely around them.
Once the study is completed, the catheters will be removed and your first appointment will be complete.