A cystometrogram allows us to assess how your bladder and sphincter behave while you store urine and when you pass urine. This test is done for people with urinary incontinence, people who have difficulty with urination, and in people with neurologic diseases that can affect bladder function. This test will measure your bladder capacity and pressure. By doing this we can identify problems such as a small capacity bladder, overactive bladder or high pressure bladder.
his test will take about 15-20 minutes. You will be positioned on an exam table lying on your back. You will first be asked to void into the collection container, as the machine measures your voiding pressure. Your urethral opening will then be cleansed with betadine to eliminate any bacteria on the surface. A lubricated catheter with sensors will be inserted into your urethra and advanced into the bladder. With the bladder catheter in place, we will then check to see if there is residual urine in your bladder after voiding. At this point, a second small catheter will be placed into the rectum.
The bladder will then be filled with saline solution and filling pressures recorded. We will ask you remain very still, and to report any sensations that you might have coolness from the saline fluid, fullness, the need to urinate, urgency, pain, bladder spasms, etc. You may experience some urine leakage during the study. Don’t be embarrassed because this can be expected. If you do have leakage, tell the technician who is doing the test.
You may experience a sense of burning or pressure when the catheter is inserted into the urethra. It is normal to have some irritation when you urinate for 24-48 hours after the study. You may also note a small amount of blood in the urine.
If you have urinary incontinence, we may tilt the table upright and ask you to cough and then strain. These maneuvers are performed to try to make you leak urine. We will attempt to replicate the urinary symptoms that you experience in your everyday life. If you have urinary retention, we will ask you to try to urinate. Measuring the bladder and urethral pressures, observing sphincter activity, and watching the movements of your bladder and urethra during leakage and urination will help us identify problems so that we can recommend treatment options.
We will ask you to empty your bladder at the end of the test. Measuring the bladder pressure during urination will help us identify the problem so that we can prescribe treatment.
1) You may eat, drink, and take all of your usual medications on the day of your testing. If you have a morning test, it is best if you actually do eat your morning meal before you come in.
2) The testing will not require sedation therefore you will be able to drive yourself home if there is no one to accompany you to the visit.
3) Come to the clinic area with a normally full bladder. Do not urinate once you come to the clinic unless you absolutely have to. If you become extremely uncomfortable from the urge to empty your bladder before you are brought into an exam room, please inform the receptionist who will inform the technician.
Important information to give to your health care provider prior to testing:
1) Notify your provider if you feel that you have a urinary tract infection—fever, chills, burning with urination, blood in your urine. We will check a urine specimen at some point during your visit but we ask that you inform us if you think you have an active infection.
2) Notify your provider of any drug allergies or allergy to latex, iodine, or shellfish.
3) Notify your provider if you are pregnant or think you are pregnant.
4) Notify your provider if you have a history of rheumatic fever, problems with your heart valves, artificial heart valves, artificial joints (knee, hip, etc), or vascular grafts. Notify your provider if you have been told that you are at risk to develop endocarditis. These conditions may warrant administration of certain antibiotics prior to testing.
You will be given descriptions of the tests that will be performed as part of your evaluation. If you have questions after reviewing the materials, you may contact our nurses at 757-722-7401. We want you to be comfortable during testing and informed about what to expect. No question is trivial so do not be afraid to call us!