A pressure flow study is a diagnostic test used to evaluate the bladder and urinary tract function during urination. It is typically performed when there is suspicion of bladder outlet obstruction, which can occur due to conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate), urethral stricture, or pelvic organ prolapse.
During a pressure flow study, a catheter is inserted into the bladder through the urethra, and another catheter is inserted into the rectum to measure intra-abdominal pressure. The bladder is then filled with sterile water or saline at a controlled rate while the pressure inside the bladder and urine volume is measured. The patient is asked to void while the pressure and urine flow are measured and recorded.
The results of the pressure flow study can help diagnose bladder outlet obstruction and determine its severity. The test provides information about the pressure and flow of urine during voiding, which can indicate the presence of an obstruction in the bladder outlet or urethra. Treatment for bladder outlet obstruction may include medication, surgery, or other interventions, depending on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition.
A pressure flow study is a specialized test typically performed in a hospital or clinic setting and may take 30 to 60 minutes to complete. A urologist or a trained healthcare professional usually performs it.