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What is this procedure and why is it done?
This is a test of bladder and urethral function. Conditions evaluated using this test include urinary leakage (incontinence), voiding difficulty, recurrent infections, prostate obstruction, painful bladder conditions, genital prolapse and more.
The test involves the passage of a small tube (catheter) into the bladder. The bladder is then filled with x-ray dye. As the bladder is filled, it is imaged by x-ray and the pressure caused by filling the bladder is measured.
You may be asked to cough, strain, or cough repeatedly in order to make the bladder leak. The point of the test is to try and demonstrate what the cause of the problem is. Therefore, it is important to remember the point of the study and not worry about any embarrassment of leaking. If leakage is the problem, the test is valuable as it shows why and when leakage is occurring.
There may be some burning upon passing urine after the test, or rarely, passing the catheter into the bladder may not be easy. In general, the risk associated with this procedure is very low.
When we are confronting and uncomfortable condition, it is appropriate to expect some discomfort, as that is the very volume of the problem. The discomfort is not an indication of damage, but a prelude to identifying something that can be cured or helped significantly.
You will be given an antibiotic before the test in order to prevent possible urinary infections. This is Ciprofloxacin – please inform the nurse looking after you if you have any antibiotic allergies.
The first part of the test is a study of urination, therefore, if possible, please wait until the study before emptying your bladder.
If you are using a catheter to empty your bladder, please follow your normal routine.
How long does it take?
The entire procedure takes approximately 30-45 minutes though the part that involves the actual examination may take much less. With time allowed for admission and discharge, please allow approximately 3 hours altogether.
What can I expect afterwards?
Immediately after the procedure you will return to the area where you will get yourself dressed. Once you are fully dressed, you may be given a treatment plan on the basis of the findings and information will be given to you to get started on that plan of treatment. If required, an appointment will be made for follow-up.