Urodynamics: Giving Kids Answers: May 18, 2019

It’s providing answers to an uncomfortable problem. “Not only do you get functional information, but you get imaging to allow you to make a diagnosis,” explained Dr. Michael Carr, a pediatric urologist with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Dr. Carr uses a new piece of technology at Golisano Children’s Hospital called urodynamic testing to better understand how a child’s bladder is working. “We’re trying to see from a motor standpoint how their bladder works. Is it able to contract? How well can it contract? Can they empty their bladder,” said Dr. Carr.

Patients with urinary incontinence, frequent urinary tract infections, paralysis or spina bifida may benefit from urodynamic testing. “We place the catheter, and then we actually empty everything out of the bladder. Then we fill it with contrast,” he said.

Depending on the child’s age, doctors look for verbal or visual cues to determine if the child has a sensation. “With one study we can at least come up with a diagnosis and then a plan on how to manage their child,” said Dr. Carr.

Because the child is typically awake during the 30 to 60-minute test, parents and child life specialists stay in the room to keep the child calm. “Most of the kids respond really, really well to distraction play and education and they forget that they are lying there,” said Kristin Brown, a child life specialist with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Keeping children relaxed while determining the best treatment for their diagnosis.