What is a fluoroscopic urodynamic study (FUDS)?
A urodynamic study is a study of how the bladder and urethra work by taking pressure readings of the bladder and urethra using sophisticated computerized equipment. “Fluoroscopic” means that x-ray is also used to give a picture of bladder and urethral anatomy.
Who should have urodynamics?
A Fluoroscopic Urodynamic Study (FUDS) is the “gold standard” test for assessing bladder and urethral function. It provides invaluable information about bladder function that can help diagnose urinary tract problems and help determine the best treatment for the individual. Urodynamics helps diagnose and hence plan the treatment of the following problems:
- Female urinary incontinence brought on by activity e.g. coughing, exercise (“stress incontinence”)
- Frequent and urgent urination as well as loss of urine on the way to the toilet (“urge incontinence”)
- Poor urinary stream and sensation of incomplete bladder emptying
- Men with urinary blockage symptoms where it is unclear if this is a problem related to the prostate
- Men with incontinence after prostate surgery such as radical prostatectomy
- Urinary difficulties associated with neurological diseases including problems such as spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease
- Painful bladder conditions
- Prolapse problems in women
What happens during the urodynamic study?
The procedure is performed without any fasting or sedation and takes about 40 minutes (but allow 2 hours to include preparation time).
The first part of the test involves passage of urine into a special toilet which measures the flow of urine.
After this, special fine catheters (or tubes) are inserted which fill the bladder with fluid and allow pressure measurements to be recorded. These fine tubes are connected to a computer to provide pressure readings from the bladder as it is filled with fluid by the tube. Patients are asked to describe their sensation of bladder urgency or discomfort during the procedure. During the study patients are asked to cough, strain and pass urine to determine how the urinary tract functions. At the end of the procedure, a flexible cystoscope (small telescope) may be inserted into the bladder to inspect the urethra and bladder lining.