Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Urinary Testing

Urinary Testing

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The Methodist Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine
6550 Fannin Street
Houston, TX 77030
713-441-9229
713-791-5023 fax
Maps & Directions

Cystoscopy

Cystoscopy is a procedure to see the inside of the bladder and urethra (the opening of the bladder). Cystoscopy is performed with a cystoscope, which is a specialized tube with a small camera on the end.
The urethra is cleansed. A numbing medicine is applied to the skin lining the inside of the urethra, without using any needles. The scope is then inserted through the urethra into the bladder. Water or salt water (saline) flows through the cystoscope to fill the bladder.

As fluid fills the bladder, it stretches the bladder wall. This lets your doctor see the entire bladder wall. You may feel an urge to urinate when the bladder is full. However, it must remain full until the examination is complete. The procedure usually takes five to 10 minutes.

Why the test is performed

  • Check for cancer of the bladder or urethra
  • Diagnose and evaluate urinary tract abnormalities
  • Diagnose a possible cause for recurrent bladder infections
  • Help determine the cause of pain during urination

Urodynamics

Urodynamics is a test looking at the function of your bladder – how much it can hold, and why there may be leakage.  No special preparations are necessary for this test.

Urodynamics is important in the evaluation of many urinary problems including:

  • Incontinence (leakage of urine)
  • Retention of urine or incomplete bladder emptying
  • Symptoms such as frequent need to urinate or a constant, urge need to urine
  • A weak or intermittent urinary stream
  • Neurologic conditions affecting the bladder
  • Urinary conditions associated with prolapse of the pelvic organs (example: cystocele

The following will be recorded:

  • The amount of urine you can hold in your bladder
  • The size, force, and continuity of your urinary stream
  • How long it took you to empty your bladder
  • Any straining, hesitancy, or dribbling that occurred

A thin, flexible tube (catheter) is gently placed in your bladder. The catheter measures the volumes of fluid in your bladder, and the pressures there. A smaller catheter is then placed in your rectum. Water flows into the bladder at a controlled rate. You will be asked to tell the provider when you first feel the need to urinate. You may be asked to cough or push so that the health care provider can check for urine leakage. When the bladder is full, you will be told to urinate. The pressure of your urine flow is recorded. The bladder is again drained of any urine or water, and the catheter is removed. In some cases, x-rays are taken during the test. This is called videourodynamics.

Why the test is performed

  • The test will help determine the cause of bladder dysfunction and incontinence

This test should not be done if you have a known urinary tract infection. Existing infection increases the possibility of false test results.