Urodynamics in Bristol

Our urologists in Bristol offer services in urodynamics and urodynamic testing in order to diagnose and treat problems in the bladder (where urine is stored) and the urethra (the thin tube through which urine passes).

Using urodynamics our Bristol urologists can examine how well the bladder and urethra are functioning to store and release urine. Urodynamic testing helps to diagnose and explain conditions and symptoms such as:

  • Incontinence
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Problems emptying the bladder completely
  • Pain when urinating
  • Frequent urination
  • Strong, sudden urges to urine
  • Problems starting urinating

Urodynamic Testing

Urodynamic testing is usually only carried out when other treatments for a condition have failed or where other attempts at diagnoses have been inconclusive. The tests focus on the bladder, urethra and the urethral sphincter (the ring of muscle that prevents urine flowing from the bladder into the urethra). The tests aim to find out about:

  • The bladder capacity
  • Contractions of the bladder muscles
  • The pressure in the bladder when it is filling up and emptying

When consulting one of our Bristol specialists, your urologist will use your test results to decide whether you need to change your current treatment or whether you need surgery.

During the Urodynamic Test

As a part of the test you will be asked to urinate into a container and equipment is used to measure the pattern and pressure of the stream. Afterwards a catheter is inserted into the bladder to make sure that it is completely empty. A specimen of urine is usually taken to check for urinary tract infections.

Thin catheters are inserted into urethra and the rectum (for men) or the vagina (for women.)  The catheter inside the bladder is attached to a sterile water pump and the other is attached to a computer that gathers data on your bladder and urethra during the test. The bladder is slowly filled with sterile water through the urethra. When the bladder is filled you will be asked to urinate into a special container. The pattern and pressure of the stream will be measured again.

After the Procedure

After the urodynamic testing your consultant will review the results. These may be discussed with you straight away after the test or you may need to return for a follow up appointment. Your consultant will use the results to decide the best course of treatment for your symptoms.