Areas of Specialization

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  • Diagnosis

    Diagnosis of Female Incontinence


    At the University of Chicago Hospitals Department of Urology, we understand that each patient is unique. Our goals are to protect your long-term health and preserve your urologic function while also identifying and managing the issues that limit your quality of life. We do this by utilizing the state-of-the-art techniques necessary to make an accurate diagnosis. Commonly, your visit for incontinence will include:

    • Discussion with your urologist about your urologic difficulties
    • Physical examination
    • Urinalysis and culture of urine
    • Ultrasound of the bladder
    • We may also ask you to record a bladder diary for us. This is a three day record of:
          All the times you use the restroom and how much urine you expel.
          All the times you leak, how much urine leaks out, and what caused you to leak.
          All the times you drink, how much you drink, and what you drink.

    When necessary, we may perform additional tests:


    • Cystoscopy – To look inside your bladder with a small fiber-optic camera
    • Urodynamic Studies – A group of studies that provide information about how your bladder functions as it fills with urine and as it empties.
    • Radiologic Studies – X-Rays, ultrasounds, CAT Scans, MRIs, and others are all available at the Duchoissois Center for Advanced Medicine, just downstairs from the Urology Clinic.

    Urodynamic Studies


    Urodynamic studies are tests that we do in the Urology Clinic at the University of Chicago Hospital to find out how well your bladder and sphincter muscles are working. These tests help your urologist determine why you are experiencing urinary leakage, urinary retention, or difficulties urinating. They can also help your urologist recommend the best treatment for you.


    During urodynamic testing you will first be asked to empty your bladder in a special commode that measures the flow of your urine. Next, a small tube, called a catheter, will be placed in your bladder. This catheter has two purposes – it will be used to slowly fill your bladder with sterile water while it also measures the strength of your bladder muscle.


    As your bladder is being filled with water, you will be asked questions about how your bladder feels. Our goal is to reproduce the bladder symptoms you have been experiencing so that we can best determine how to treat you effectively.


    When your bladder is full, you will empty it. Everything will be explained to you as you go through the test. After the test, your catheter will be taken out and the results of your test will be explained to you.


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