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Urine Flow Rate Test & Bladder Ultrasound – Patient Information

This patient information aims to answer some of the questions you may have about having a urine flow rate test & bladder ultrasound. It explains the benefits, risks and alternatives to the procedure.  It explains what you can expect when you come to hospital. If you have any further questions please speak to your consultant or the imaging department.

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What is a urine flow rate rest and bladder ultrasound?

A urine flow rate measures the rate and volume (amount) of urine which is passed into a specially designed toilet.

A bladder ultrasound measures the amount of urine stored in the bladder and can be used to check bladder function. You will first have an ultrasound when your bladder is full and the scan will then be repeated once you have emptied your bladder during your urine flow test.. The doctor then measures the remaining volume of urine left in the bladder.

Asking for your consent

The clinical team will ask you if you are happy for the scan to go ahead (verbal consent). If you do not wish to have this scan or are undecided, please tell the clinical team. It is your decision and you can change your mind at any time. Please remember that you can ask the clinical team any questions you have at any time.

What will happen during the procedure?

A member of staff will take you into the room and explain the procedure before your scan. You will be asked to lie on a hospital bed on your back.

The radiologist will come in and apply gel on the upper or lower abdomen and they will move the probe on your skin to produce a diagnostic ultrasound scan. You should not feel pain or discomfort during your ultrasound scan.

If you are booked in for a flow test, you will then be asked to empty your bladder as normal into a specially designed toilet.

The radiologist will then do a scan after you have emptied your bladder to measure the remaining volume of urine left in the bladder.

How to prepare for a urine flow test and bladder ulstrasound

Please arrive with a comfortably full bladder. As part of the scan, you will be asked to go to the toilet in order to produce a flow rate for us which requires a full bladder.

How long will the scan take?

For the majority of patients the scan usually takes about 20-30 minutes,.

Will there be anyone with me?

A healthcare assistant and radiologist will talk to you through what’s going on during the procedure.

What happens to the results?

Your radiologist will explain their findings to you before sending an official report to your referring doctor within 48 hours.

Can I bring my children?

We do not have childcare facilities and children cannot go into the scan room with you. If you need to bring your children with you, please bring an adult who can look after them while you are having the examination.

Contact us

Please contact the Imaging team about any general concerns on 0207 467 4317. However, if you experience any symptoms of concern please contact your GP or go to your local Emergency Department (A&E).

Your comments and concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about your medicines, please speak to the staff caring for you. For support or advice please speak to your consultant or the Imaging department on 0207 467 4317.

Language and accessible support services

If you need an interpreter or information about your care in a different language or format, please get in touch.