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Bladder assessment and non-invasive bladder studies

What is bladder assessment?

This is a test that helps us to see how well your bladder is working. Your bladder is like a balloon in your tummy that holds your pee. It is sometimes called a non-invasive bladder study, or NIBS.

Why do I need it?

If you have problems with your bladder such as wetting, difficulty peeing, lots of infections, or we need to see how it is working, this test can give us a lot of information. This then helps us to decide how we can try to make things better for you.

How long does it take?

Depending on how quickly you need to pee, the test can take up to a couple of hours. When you are ready to pee, we can start the test. If your bladder is not full enough, we will not get enough information. You will also have to wait until it is full before the test can start. This is why it is really important to drink lots before you come for your appointment.

What happens when we get there?

You will need to sign in at the reception desk, who will then tell the nurses that you have arrived. They will tell you where to sit and drink if you are not ready to pee yet. When you are ready, please tell the nurse on reception. They will let the person who is doing your test know that you are ready. The test will be done as soon as possible after you say that you are ready. Sometimes, you might need to wait for a few minutes for somebody else to finish using the equipment, especially if you did not need to pee at your appointment time.

What happens during the test?

You might need to have a scan of your bladder, to check that it is full enough to do the test. To do this scan, some cold jelly will be put on your tummy. Then, a special machine called a bladder scanner will measure how much pee is in your bladder. If your bladder is not full enough, you might need to go back to the waiting room to drink some more.

If your bladder is full, you will be shown to a special toilet. While you have a pee you can close the door, you can be by yourself, or you can have the person who brought you to your appointment in the bathroom with you.

After you have done peeing, you will have another scan with the jelly. This will show whether your bladder is empty.

If we think that we might need more information, you might be asked to drink some more and do another pee on the special toilet. You might also be asked to fill in a diary about how much you drink, and how much you pee in a day. You will then be asked to bring this with you. This is very important to give us an all-round picture of what is happening.

When will I get the results?

The person doing your test will explain what the scans and the special toilet have shown. They will then usually be able to give you lots of advice to help with your problem.

Sometimes, they will need to talk to your doctor about the results of your test. They will then arrange to contact you to explain what else needs to be done to help.

When will I get an appointment?

If you are a new patient, you should get an appointment within 6 to 8 weeks of seeing the doctor. If you have had a bladder assessment before, your appointments will be when your nurse or doctor says you need them.

There are a lot of children who need these appointments, so if you miss your appointment we will not make another one for you automatically.

If there is a problem with the date or time you have been sent, please get in touch as soon as you can. This means that somebody else can then use this appointment.

Contact us

Urology Specialist Nurses
Tel: 0114 226 0502

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Disclaimer

Please note this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s. The details in this resource may not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If you have specific questions about how this resource relates to your child, please ask your doctor.

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NHS

Western Bank
Sheffield
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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