Dr. Agnieszka Zawislak


Urodynamic study is a procedure to help find out how your bladder, sphincter (the muscle around the neck of your bladder) and the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body) are working. Having this test can help find out the cause for bladder problems such as incontinence, or difficulty in passing urine.

A urodynamic study is usually only done if other tests are inconclusive or if other treatments have failed. The test may include X-rays if required.

The purpose of a urodynamic study is to find out:

  • if your symptoms are due to involuntary contractions (squeezing) of your bladder muscles
  • if you have the bladder capacity we would normally expect
  • if your bladder pressure is normal during filling and emptying
A urodynamic study is performed as an out-patient procedure at Kingsbridge Private Hospital. The test results will help you decide if you need to alter your current treatment, or if you need surgery.

Before you come to your appointment you may be asked to keep a voiding diary for two or more days before you come to the hospital. A voiding diary is a record of how much you urinate. You will need to record what type of fluid you drink, when and how much, and the timing and volume of urine output. You may also be asked to give information about when you experience urgency or urinary leakage.

Urodynamic Procedure

At your appointment you will be asked to lie down on a special X-ray table. Two thin tubes (catheters) are inserted into your bladder through your urethra.

It is normal that you may feel the sensation of needing to pass urine as the catheters are put in. A local anaesthetic gel may be used depending on your individual needs but usually it is not needed.

One of the catheters going into your bladder is connected to a sterile water machine and the other is attached to a pressure monitor. The pressure monitor is a special machine that measures how much liquid your bladder can hold and the pressure inside your bladder.

A third catheter is placed in your vagina if you are female, or in your back passage (rectum) if you are male. This is also attached to the monitor and measures the pressure that the rest of your body is putting on your bladder.

Once the catheters are in place, your bladder is slowly filled with sterile water which contains an X-ray contrast dye. Whilst this is happening, you will be asked indicate when you feel the need to urinate.

During the test you may be asked to cough, strain or squeeze to check how your bladder reacts under pressure. X-rays may be taken during this stage if required.

It is normal during the test that some water may leak out and wet you, please try not to be embarrassed by this and remember that the test is helping to determine the cause of your bladder problem. Any fluid that leaks out is not urine but the sterile water that has been pumped into your bladder.

Following the initial stage, you will then be asked to empty your bladder so that the catheters can measure the flow rate and pressure at which you urinate. At the end of the test, the catheters will be removed and you will have privacy to dress.

The test usually takes 15 to 30 minutes and it should not be painful, although it may be uncomfortable at times.

Some people find the prospect of having a urodynamic test embarrassing, but understanding what will happen during the procedure may help you with this. Rest assured that you will be looked after and reassured throughout all stages of the test.

After the urodynamic study the results will be reviewed and discussed with you after the test, or you may be asked to return for a follow-up appointment depending on individual circumstances.

A urodynamic study is a commonly performed and generally safe procedure. For most patients, the benefits of having a clear diagnosis are much greater than any disadvantages.

After the catheters are removed you may feel some mild discomfort especially when passing urine. This should settle after a few hours. Some patients also may notice some blood in the urine following the test. This should settle after a day or so.

In some instances there is a risk of developing a urinary tract infection. If this occurs antibiotics will be provided to treat the infection. To book a consultation at Kingsbridge Private Hospital, please call the 3fivetwo Group on 0845 60 06 352.

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