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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Your child's urine flow is measured as he or she urinates in a special, privately placed toilet. Then a thin, flexible tube is placed in your child's bladder to fill it slowly with a warm saltwater solution. At the same time, bladder pressures are monitored and the presence or absence of premature bladder contractions is noted, along with any sensations experienced by your child. Other aspects of the bladder that are monitored include its emptying characteristics (whether or not the bladder empties completely with normal pressures, high pressures or low pressures.)
The study can have as many as five parts:
Children with urinary incontinence may need a urodynamic study if the problem hasn't been fixed by simpler methods of treatment, such as drugs to help achieve dryness and behavioral modification strategies.
For children with known neurological conditions, such as myelodysplasia, the studies are usually performed during the newborn period, so that therapy can be initiated as soon as possible. Studies are also needed when these children are older, if they haven't achieved continence with simple measures of intermittent catheterization and drugs that help paralyze the bladder.
In children with anatomic conditions that lead to incontinence, such as bladder exstrophy/epispadias or anorectal malformations, urodynamics studies are recommended as soon as the diagnosis is made and after initial treatments fail to correct the incontinence. Testing helps guide the pediatric urologist toward other means of therapy and improves the efficiency of your child's treatment plan.
To be sure that your child does not have a urinary infection at the time of testing, your pediatric urologist will want to obtain a urine culture approximately one week before the scheduled date.
On the day of the test, it is important to make sure that your child comes to the urodynamics suite with a relatively full bladder (if toilet trained) so that he or she can urinate voluntarily. A full bladder is not crucial for children who cannot void voluntarily and require catheterization to empty the bladder.
It is also important to prepare your child, explaining why the test is important, what it is designed to accomplish and how it might improve your child's health. Understanding the purpose of the test and all of its aspects is likely to make the testing easier for your child.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”