This information will help you prepare for your urodynamic evaluation.

A urodynamic evaluation is a procedure in which x-rays are taken of your bladder, urinary sphincter, and urethra (see figure).

Your doctor and nurse will use this procedure to see:

  • How well your bladder works
  • How much urine your bladder can hold
  • If your bladder contracts without your effort
    (leaks urine)
  • How your urinary sphincter closes and opens when you are ready to urinate
  • If there is any problem with your urethra
  • If there is any other problem with your urinary tract

Before Your Procedure

  • Tell your doctor or nurse if you take:
    • Tolterodine (Detrol®)
    • Oxybutynin (Ditropan®)
    • Imipramine (Tofranil®)
    • Any other medication to treat a bladder problem

You may need to stop taking these medications 2 weeks before your procedure.

Day of Your Procedure

  • Take your antibiotic as prescribed.
  • Do not drink caffeinated liquids.
  • Eat a regular breakfast. If your procedure is in the afternoon, you can also eat your usual lunch.
  • Try not to urinate right before your procedure.

During Your Procedure

  1. You will put on a hospital gown.
  2. You will lie down on an exam table. Your doctor or nurse will insert a very small tube into your bladder or urinary diversion. Another very small tube will be put into your rectum or stoma. These tubes are connected to others that are attached to a computer.
  3. Your nurse will place 2 sets of electrodes on your body, which will measure the muscle function of your urethra. Women will have them placed on the area between the vagina and rectum and on the upper leg. Men will have them placed on the area between the scrotum and rectum and on the upper leg.
  4. Contrast medium, which is a liquid that can be seen on x-rays, will begin to flow through the tube into your bladder or urinary diversion. X-rays will be taken when the tubes are in place.
  5. While your bladder is being filled with the contrast liquid, your nurse will ask you to tell him or her:
  • When you feel that your bladder is full
  • When you have the urge to urinate
  • When you have a strong urge to urinate
  1. Once you have a full bladder and a strong urge to urinate, you will empty your bladder with the tubes still in place. More x-rays will be taken.
  2. You may be asked to strain at certain times while your bladder is filling. This may show urine leakage.
  3. If needed, some of these steps may be repeated during the procedure.
  4. When your procedure is finished, the tubes and electrodes will be removed.
  5. Some patients may also need to have a cystoscopy. This is a procedure to inspect the urethra, bladder, and openings to the ureters. During this procedure, your doctor will insert a scope (hollow tube with a tiny light on the end) into your urethra. Your doctor will look at a monitor that shows the inside of your bladder.

Your doctor will speak with you after your procedure is finished.

After Your Procedure

  • You will probably have discomfort or slight bleeding when you urinate. Drink a lot of liquids over the next 2 days.
  • You may have a little irritation, a few drops of blood, or both when you empty your bladder over the next 24 hours. This is expected to happen.

Call Your Doctor or Nurse if You:

  • Have bleeding or discomfort that does not improve within 48 hours after your procedure
  • Have a temperature of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher
  • Cannot urinate