Pediatric Urodynamic Testing
What is Urodynamic Testing?
Urodynamics is the study of how the body
stores and releases urine. The test measures:
a) The function of the bladder, urethra
and pelvic floor muscles
b) The pressure in the bladder as it fills
stores and empties urine
c) How the urine flows, how much
urine your child’s bladder holds and
The purpose of this test is to see how your
child’s bladder functions and find any
problems. Your child’s provider will decide
how to treat their bladder symptoms based
on the results. Please contact the clinic if
your child is ill, has or is being treated for a
urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney
infection. In this case, your child’s testing
may need to be rescheduled.
How do I prepare my child for the test?
The test will take about two hours. Your
child should have one, soft, easy to pass
bowel movement daily. If your child is on a
special bowel program, please have them
complete this the night before the test.
Constipation may affect how accurate the
test is. Your child should take all medicines
as prescribed. If your child has decreased or
no sensation, the test will be performed in
the Pediatric Specialties Clinic. If your
child has normal urinary sensation, the test
will be done with light sedation through the
Pediatric Sedation Clinic. Only a small
amount of sedation is able to be used for the
test or the results will not be accurate.
We understand this test may be difficult for
your child. A Child Life Specialist may be
able to help. They can help distract and help
your child cope during the test and keep
your child comfortable. A team member
from the Pediatric Sedation Clinic will
contact you before the appointment to
discuss how you need to prepare for the test.
Your child will need to be relaxed for the
test. We suggest you to talk to your child
about this test in ways they can understand.
Talk to them about the test, what to expect,
why it is needed, what your provider is
trying to learn from this test and how it
might help improve your child’s quality of
life. This may help them better understand
and make testing easier for your child.
Reassure your child that you may be with
them during the entire test. The more
relaxed the parent is, the more relaxed your
child will be. By working together, we hope
to complete the test with the least amount of
stress for you and your child.
What to bring for the test?
Please bring items you feel will comfort
your child. Feel free to bring their favorite
comfort item, toy, pacifier or tablet to
distract and help your child relax during the
test. Also, bring socks and a change of
clothes with you the day of test.
During The Test:
Your child will lie on an exam table for the
test. Your child’s genital area will be
exposed and cleansed to prepare for the
catheters to be placed. A small, soft tube
(catheter) will be placed into your child’s
bladder through their urethra (opening
where your child urinates). This catheter
measures your child’s bladder pressure. A
second type of soft catheter will be placed
just inside your child’s rectum. This
catheter measures your child’s abdominal
pressure and is not painful, but may be
uncomfortable. Your child may feel like
they need to have a bowel movement. Three
small sticky patches will be placed near your
child’s rectum to measure the pelvic floor
muscles. All tubes will be secured with tape
to make sure they stay in place during the
Once the tubes and pads are in place they
will be connected to the computer and then
the test is ready to begin. Your child’s
bladder will be slowly filled with sterile
water. The bladder is filled at a similar rate
to how the bladder fills on its own. During
the test the nurse will ask questions about
the sensations your child is feeling as the
bladder fills. After we get the information
we need, the nurse will help your child
urinate in a bedpan or urinal with all
catheters in place. We will need to gather
information as your child’s bladder empties.
If your child is not able to urinate on their
own, the bladder will be emptied by the
nurse through the catheter. The catheter
may need to be adjusted from time to time
during the test to make sure the bladder is
completely empty. Two tests will be
If your child is scheduled for a video
urodynamic study (performed in the Adult
Urology Clinic), the bladder will be filled
with a special contrast instead of water.
This contrast allows your provider to use x-
ray images to see your bladder while filling,
straining, coughing, and passing urine.
Please call us if you or the adult coming
with you to the appointment could be or is
pregnant. No other children will be allowed
to attend this study due to x ray exposure.
After the Test:
When the test is complete, all of the tubes
and sticky pads will be removed. Your child
may have some burning when they urinate
after the test. This is normal and should
improve the more often your child urinates
and should go away within 24 hours. Make
sure your child drinks plenty of fluids. If
your child is having any pain, you may give
Tylenol® as directed for their age and
weight. A warm bath or shower may also
help if they are having discomfort when they
When to Call the Doctor:
Temperature greater than 100.4°F by
mouth for 2 readings taken 4 hours
Problems passing urine.
Large blood clots in your urine.
Bloody urine you cannot see
Pediatric Urology Clinic (608) 263-6420
After hours, the clinic number will be
answered by the paging operator. Ask for
the Pediatric Urology Resident on call.
Leave your name and phone number with
the area code. The doctor will call you
back. If you live out of the area, call
Pediatric Sedation Clinic: (608) 262-4402
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7183