An innovative urinary health service that keeps your child comfortable and close to home
Restoring peace. Providing answers. Offering clarity for a sensitive condition. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida now offers urodynamic studies that allow our expert staff to evaluate and diagnose problems with a child’s bladder and urinary tract in real time.
Our hospital launched this specialized new service so families don’t have to travel for the care they need and deserve. Urodynamics – an outpatient procedure – helps jump-start treatment plans to help your child heal.
How does it work?
The name sounds like something in a high school physics curriculum, but don’t be intimidated! Urodynamics are simple tests that help us better understand bladder function and underlying issues behind urinary problems.
Our urodynamics system consists of two parts:
- The first is equipment connected to a catheter, allowing measurements of bladder pressure. This equipment also assesses when the bladder generates a contraction and how specific muscles respond when the bladder contracts.
- The second part is a fluoroscope. This advanced X-ray device lets urologists use contrast material to view the bladder shape and what happens as the bladder fills and contracts.
Simply put: Doctors place a catheter, empty the bladder, and fill it with contrast. Depending on the child’s age, we look for verbal and visual cues to determine if your child has a particular sensation. With just one study we can come up with a diagnosis and management plan.
Real-time views of the bladder give doctors an amazing amount of helpful information right away for fast, convenient treatment. Even better, parents can be there while their child is having the procedure. That means they can comfort their child, ask questions, and stay involved in the process at all times.
Who can it help?
Urodynamics helps children who have bladder dysfunction such as incontinence or frequent urinary tract infections as well as children who have limited or no feeling below the waist. These may include conditions such as spina bifida, spinal cord injuries, or transverse myelitis – an inflammation around one section of a patient’s spinal cord that interrupts messages sent to the child’s brain.
Your child's comfort
Any medical procedure or testing can be frightening or intimidating for a child. Since a child will typically be awake during the 30- to 60-minute test, one of our child life specialists will stay in the room to keep them calm.
What are child life specialists? They are our highly trained, compassionate experts who use games, interaction, education, and engaging conversation to distract children during procedures. They also know how to explain procedures in ways that give children confidence. In fact, they are so good at what they do that children often forget they are being tested!
The diagnostics suite is in the Pediatric Procedural Sedation Unit on the hospital’s second floor. That gives children access to gentle sedation if they need it. And since urodynamic testing requires catheters and electrode placement, the specialists perform an essential duty: They help children and families feel at ease. It’s all part of our dedication to compassionate care.