After Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) most people suffer from neurogenic bladder dysfunction. Effects of this condition may be diverse but can result in frequent urination, incontinence, incomplete bladder emptying, and/or catheter dependence. However long-term changes from neurogenic bladder can result in recurrent urinary tract infections, kidney stones, renal injury (kidney damage), and more.
Urodynamic studies (UDS) measure the pressures and volumes that impact your bladder’s ability to store and empty urine. The results can tell us many things about your bladder health:
- What is the best method to empty your bladder?
- What medications, procedures, or surgeries may improve your quality of life?
- How can we better prevent urinary tract infections (UTI), autonomic dysreflexia (AD), and incontinence?
- Are you at risk for kidney damage or other serious complications?
New guidelines from the American Urological Association recommend that most people with SCI should get a urodynamic study as part of their initial SCI evaluation (https://www.auanet.org/guidelines/guidelines/adult-neurogenic-lower-urinary-tract-dysfunction). Some clinicians even recommend annual urodynamics to guide management and prevent problems from occurring. However, until now, there has been no universally accessible option for people with SCI and similar mobility impairments in Northeast Ohio. MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute in partnership with the MetroHealth Center for Rehabilitation Research can now offer a custom-designed UDS suite, power lift assistance, and a fully adjustable power examination chair. The study is conducted by an experienced urodynamics nurse and a board-certified SCI specialist physician. Results and recommendations are given right after the study is complete with referral to urologic surgeons if necessary.
If you are interested in learning more about urodynamics or have questions about your bladder health, please talk to your SCI provider or call 216-778-4414 to make an appointment.
SCI Urodynamic Clinic: What to Expect
What to do before a urodynamic study?
- Continue taking your normal medications unless advised by your doctor
- Call you doctor if you think you have a UTI in the days before your procedure. Symptoms include fever, chills, pelvic/abdominal pain, pain with bladder emptying (catheter insertion or peeing) or changes in your muscle spasms, pain or urinary incontinence.
- Bring a care giver if you need assistance with transfers or dressing
- Complete your bowel care the day before the study if possible
What to expect on the day of a urodynamic study?
- Transfer to the exam chair (a lift is available when needed).
- You will be asked to empty your bladder (peeing if possible).
- A small catheter will be placed in your rectum and urethra. Small sticker sensors will be placed near your anus to monitor muscle contractions.
- Fluid will slowly be pumped into your bladder.
- Lastly you will be asked to empty your bladder again (peeing if possible).
What to do after a urodynamic study?
- It is normal to have some burning and tenderness with urination for the next day.
- Most people are prescribed a one-time antibiotic to prevent a possible UTI.
- Drink plenty of water
- If you experience chills, fever or are concerned, call 216-778-4414. After hours or for emergencies, go the Emergency Room.