Urodynamics: a clinical perspective (PFI Testing)

Urodynamic testing is performed to evaluate your bladder function. The doctor may recommend it in order to get a baseline reading of your bladder muscle function or to evaluate current or (in some cases of prolapse) potential urinary leakage. It is important for us to know what is causing the urinary leakage, or if leakage may begin after repairing your prolapse. We want to ensure that we have a full understanding of your bladder function prior to treatment or surgery to provide you with the best care. 


What to expect: 


You are asked to come with a comfortably full bladder to evaluate the rate/flow of your urine. We then evaluate how well you empty your bladder by passing a small catheter to check how much fluid is left. Next, we will insert specialized catheters that monitor your bladder function while we backfill your bladder with sterile saline water. 


You will be asked 1) at what time you first feel your bladder is beginning to fill but not so much that you have to “go,” 2) at what time you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, and finally, 3) at what time you cannot take anymore fluid. We will test for any urinary leakage during the test by having you cough and push to simulate various situations in which you would experience incontinence. If you have prolapse, we may need to place large Q-tips in the vagina to mimic the prolapse repair to determine whether your prolapse is preventing you from leaking. If that is the case, we will discuss additional treatment options. 


Once you are at your maximum capacity, we will evaluate the pressure in your urethra (the tube you pee through). We do this by sliding the catheter slowly through the urethra. Finally, you get to pee! We will position you with all the catheters in place to evaluate how your bladder muscle works while you pee. Lastly, we will check again to see what is left in the bladder. 


You may be nervous thinking about this test. Please don’t be! We do what we can to make the procedure as comfortable as possible! We are trying to obtain vital information to ensure we are doing the right thing for you! Your safety is our first priority, and we want to know all we can in order to develop the best treatment plan for each individual case. 


Thank you for choosing PFI for your care! We will do everything we can to ensure your safety and develop the best personalized plan of care for you! 

Until next time, be well and stay healthy!


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