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What is Urodynamics?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Urodynamics is the study of how the urethra and bladder function, two important organs that make up the urinary tract. In order to discover how these organs are working in a patient, a variety of different measurements are used to establish an overview of the function of each. For example, the urine pressure along with the urine flow rate are used. Urodynamics can be used to diagnose problems such as an enlarged prostate as well as to help solve issues involving bladder function.

Some of the conditions that urodynamics can be used to diagnose and explain include painful urination, problems with emptying the bladder and incontinence. Usually a urodynamic test will be performed by a urologist or urology nurse. The reason why the tests are so important is that a patient’s recollection of his or her urinary history and problems may not be entirely accurate, which makes diagnosis difficult.

A urodynamic test involves a simple examination as well as documentation of the patient’s medical history. The reason for this is that the history of the patient may immediately indicate problems that could potentially cause issues with the urinary tract. It will also provide the practitioner with an overview of any related medical issues that the patient has suffered in the past. Along with this basic information a number of tests may be performed.

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A patient may be required to keep a diary of his or her urinary habits. The diary lasts for several days and provides an insight for the practitioner into the bladder function of the patient, which can help with later diagnosis. It’s important for the diary to record any episodes of incontinence which occur during the time period as these often provide clues as to the underlying problem.

Some tests that may or may not be involved in a urodynamic test include a uroflowmetry test, a cystometry and EMG. A uroflowmetry test is used to measure how quickly a person can empty his or her bladder and can be used to diagnose an obstruction. EMG tests are used to identify the amount of electrical signals in the area.

Although urodynamics is useful for diagnosing a number of different urinating disorders, it isn’t required for every patient. When urinary tract problems begin to show symptoms the doctor will decide whether a full urodynamics diagnosis is required. In many cases it’s possible to diagnose a condition without having to perform a full assessment.

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