A fluoroscopic urodynamic study, or urodynamics, is a medical procedure that uses complex equipment to measure the pressure in the bladder and urethra as the bladder fills and as the bladder empties.
A small catheter is put into the bladder and a fluoroscopic fluid (fluid that can be seen with an X-ray) is put into the bladder. The pressures are then measured by a machine as the bladder fills and is emptied.
What is it for?
Urodynamic studies will show how well your bladder muscles and sphincters coordinate. The test will also show if there are contractions of the bladder muscle happening at the wrong time and if the bladder contractions are too strong. The results of the urodynamic study will show whether there is a risk for kidney damage associated with how your bladder functions after your SCI.
Preparation for the test
It is recommended that you have a urine specimen taken prior to urodynamic studies to ensure that the urine is free from infection. It is common for bacteria to be present in the urine so any results should be discussed with your urology nurse prior to the test.
How often should I have the test?
Every person with a spinal cord injury should be assessed by urodynamics to help determine a long-term plan. Once this has been done any further tests are performed on an “as needed” basis. Some people (particularly if you use reflex voiding) should have this test performed more frequently. The frequency of urodynamic studies should be discussed with your doctor or urology nurse.