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A uroflow study is one of many diagnostic tools used by our pediatric urologists to evaluate your child’s urinary tract. It measures four aspects of urination:
In a normal urinary tract, urine flows slowly at first, then speeds up the closer the bladder gets to empty and finishes slowly. This pattern is disrupted in children who have a functional or anatomic obstruction in the urinary tract. From this test, we can often learn how your child’s bladder functions and drains. A uroflow study helps diagnose conditions such as voiding dysfunction, urethral strictures or poor bladder emptying among others.
When you arrive for a uroflow study at Riley at IU Health, you will provide some brief medical information about your child. This is an ideal time to ask any remaining questions about the test and express any special needs or mobility issues we should consider.
Your child is escorted to an area where he or she is asked to pee into a special toilet that measures how much and how fast urine flows. Small sensors are placed on their bottom to measure muscle activity during urination. Straining, excess body movement and medications that control the bladder and supporting muscles may alter test results. For this reason, we encourage each child to pee the way he or she normally would to keep things as routine as possible, sitting or standing—whichever feels most comfortable.
Immediately after the test, our nurses place your child on a table and perform an ultrasound of the lower abdomen to see how much urine is left in the bladder. The entire procedure, including the ultrasound, takes about five minutes.
The only thing your child needs to bring to a uroflow study is a full (but not overly full) bladder. You should arrive 15 minutes before your appointment. Please be sure to tell the receptionist when you arrive.
If this is the only test scheduled, you will usually see the doctor after your child’s uroflow study, and your child may go home with no special care instructions. Depending on his or her medical conditions this test may be paired with other tests.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
This U.S. National Library of Medicine website shares information on kidney and urological conditions and treatments.
This U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website shares information for parents and caregivers about urological diseases and treatments.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.