Urodynamic Bladder Function Testing - Oakdale ObGyn
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Services Urodynamic Bladder Function Testing

If you have any involuntary urine leaking, you are not alone (we just don’t talk about it). Studies show that 1 out of every 3 women over the age of 45 experiences urinary leaking or other bladder problems. If you’re one of them, you know how it impacts your daily activities and your lifestyle.

So, how do you know if you have a problem? Symptoms might include:

  • You leak urine whenever (you can’t control it)
  • You feel like your bladder may not empty completely
  • You constantly feel like you have to use the bathroom
  • When you go to the bathroom, it seems stop-start or weak
  • You have persistent urinary tract infections

If you’re ready to get back to your life worry-free, talk with your Oakdale ObGyn doctor, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner about your concerns. After discussing your symptoms, he or she may refer you to a specially trained doctor at the Center for Urinary and Pelvic Health to complete a thorough bladder function evaluation and physical exam.

So, how do we get to the bottom of your concern? We usually recommend urodynamic testing. It’s a fancy medical term used to describe how we evaluate your bladder function: how does your body store and get rid of urine. Urodynamic studies help to determine the cause of the leaking.

The evaluation includes a series of tests that give your doctor a detailed look at the function of your bladder and urethra and provides information about bladder problems. The tests, called “simple” or “multi-channel” urodynamics suggest next steps in helping to return to normal.

Based on your symptoms, our specially trained team uses urodynamic studies to:

  • Better determine or assess your condition
  • Confirm a diagnosis
  • Determine next steps in treating your condition, which may include non-surgical and surgical options
  • Confirm the need to perform minimally invasive surgery
  • Monitor a more complex condition, such as a neurogenic bladder or pelvic organ prolapse

We use a number of different urodynamic tests, termed “simple” or “multichannel”. Our team will walk you through all of them and answer any questions you have.

Simple Bladder Function Testing

  • Urinalysis
  • Cough stress test
  • A tip test
  • Post-void residual test

Multichannel Bladder Function Testing

  • Uroflowmetry: This test measures the amount and speed of your urine when you go to the bathroom. At our Urodynamic Testing Lab, we will ask you to go to bathroom using a special toilet in our private room. The toilet is attached to a computer that records your urine flow. A small flexible catheter (tube) is placed inside your bladder after you have finished going to the bathroom to measure the amount of urine you have left in your bladder. This test may be uncomfortable but most women tell us they feel “pressure”, not pain.
  • Cystometry: This test evaluates how much urine your bladder can hold, the strength of you bladder muscle, and how well the communication signals from your brain to your bladder work that tell you when your bladder is full.
  • Electromyogram: This test helps evaluate if the nerves and bladder muscle contractions that control urination are working correctly. Electrode patches are placed near the rectum to record muscle contractions. There are no needles involved in the test and it is relatively painless.
  • Pressure Flow Study: This test measures the pressure and flow of urine out of your bladder. You will be asked to go to the bathroom while a catheter (small tube) is in the urethra measures the pressure.

As with any medical procedure, there are risks. Urodynamic testing is pretty simple, and painless. Talk with your bladder specialist about your concerns.

Sometimes urodynamic testing reveals that your condition needs a surgery to fix the problem.

We perform surgery at the North Memorial Outpatient Surgery Center at Maple Grove Hospital.

Before your test, complete an urogynecology questionnaire and keep a two-day diary of your bathroom habits. Be sure to tell your Oakdale ObGyn provider about any medications you are taking and ask if you need to stop taking them before the study.

On the day of your test, come with a full bladder.

  • How do you diagnose incontinence?
  • Isn’t urinary leaking normal?
  • What does urodynamic testing include?
  • Can you diagnose incontinence problems without urodynamic testing?
  • Does testing hurt?
  • Is urodynamic testing covered by insurance?
What is Urodynamic Testing?

So, how do we get to the bottom of your concern? We usually recommend urodynamic testing. It’s a fancy medical term used to describe how we evaluate your bladder function: how does your body store and get rid of urine. Urodynamic studies help to determine the cause of the leaking.

The evaluation includes a series of tests that give your doctor a detailed look at the function of your bladder and urethra and provides information about bladder problems. The tests, called “simple” or “multi-channel” urodynamics suggest next steps in helping to return to normal.

How do Urodynamic Studies Help Me?

Based on your symptoms, our specially trained team uses urodynamic studies to:

  • Better determine or assess your condition
  • Confirm a diagnosis
  • Determine next steps in treating your condition, which may include non-surgical and surgical options
  • Confirm the need to perform minimally invasive surgery
  • Monitor a more complex condition, such as a neurogenic bladder or pelvic organ prolapse
Types of Urodynamic Tests You Can Expect

We use a number of different urodynamic tests, termed “simple” or “multichannel”. Our team will walk you through all of them and answer any questions you have.

Simple Bladder Function Testing

  • Urinalysis
  • Cough stress test
  • A tip test
  • Post-void residual test

Multichannel Bladder Function Testing

  • Uroflowmetry: This test measures the amount and speed of your urine when you go to the bathroom. At our Urodynamic Testing Lab, we will ask you to go to bathroom using a special toilet in our private room. The toilet is attached to a computer that records your urine flow. A small flexible catheter (tube) is placed inside your bladder after you have finished going to the bathroom to measure the amount of urine you have left in your bladder. This test may be uncomfortable but most women tell us they feel “pressure”, not pain.
  • Cystometry: This test evaluates how much urine your bladder can hold, the strength of you bladder muscle, and how well the communication signals from your brain to your bladder work that tell you when your bladder is full.
  • Electromyogram: This test helps evaluate if the nerves and bladder muscle contractions that control urination are working correctly. Electrode patches are placed near the rectum to record muscle contractions. There are no needles involved in the test and it is relatively painless.
  • Pressure Flow Study: This test measures the pressure and flow of urine out of your bladder. You will be asked to go to the bathroom while a catheter (small tube) is in the urethra measures the pressure.
Understanding Risks

As with any medical procedure, there are risks. Urodynamic testing is pretty simple, and painless. Talk with your bladder specialist about your concerns.

If You Need Surgery

Sometimes urodynamic testing reveals that your condition needs a surgery to fix the problem.

We perform surgery at the North Memorial Outpatient Surgery Center at Maple Grove Hospital.

What to Expect

Before your test, complete an urogynecology questionnaire and keep a two-day diary of your bathroom habits. Be sure to tell your Oakdale ObGyn provider about any medications you are taking and ask if you need to stop taking them before the study.

On the day of your test, come with a full bladder.

Questions to Ask Your Urinary Health Team
  • How do you diagnose incontinence?
  • Isn’t urinary leaking normal?
  • What does urodynamic testing include?
  • Can you diagnose incontinence problems without urodynamic testing?
  • Does testing hurt?
  • Is urodynamic testing covered by insurance?
Video
“I wore a pad for about a year [for urinary leaking]. After telling my doctor that I wore a pad all day long, he said that 80% of woman your age wear them. So, I thought I just had to get used to it. There were times when I had no control and would wet my pants. It was always in the back of my mind.

Then I met Dr. Jon Nielsen, who said it could be fixed with [medication] or a procedure. He recommended a urodynamics test, which showed that I had very long contraction time [bladder wasn't working correctly]. He suggested medicine [to help with this] and got immediate results. Now, I am not going so often and am able to stop the "drips".”
– Judy, Urodynamic testing helped her get urinary leaking under control

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