Uroflowmety is a simple test that detects the pattern of the urinary stream. This is done by having the child void on a special commode attached to a computer screen. At the same time the child is voiding the computer will also evaluate the activity of the pelvic muscles ( a sling of muscles that lies underneath the bladder). This is accomplished by placing three small gel patches on the child’s bottom and hip while voiding. The computer records the pattern of the urinary stream in relationship to the pelvic muscle activity.
Medical ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, is a method to view structures within the body safely and is completely painless. Sonography uses sound waves that are well above the range of human hearing. The sound waves are produced and received by what can be thought of as a “sound camera.” This device takes its pictures when it touches the skin through a small amount of watery gel. When the sound waves bounce off of internal organs and other structures, the reflected sound “picture” appears as a “live” image on a computer screen. People are most familiar with the use of ultrasound to examine the developing fetus during pregnancy. Sonography is a particularly useful way to examine the kidneys and bladder.
Biofeedback is a treatment by which people can “learn” to control or change certain body functions, often without medication. For certain StepUp patients, this technique can help to change abnormal and potentially harmful activity of the muscles controlling the release of urine from the bladder. A treatment plan that includes biofeedback is used most often for children who do no empty the bladder completely. Many of these also have experienced numerous urinary tract infections.
Behavior modification is a form of therapy that is used when there is a need to teach new skills, or to change long-standing habits or behaviors. Our behavioral psychology partners in the StepUp program work with the families to develop a game plan for this treatment. To be effective, behavior modification requires children to follow specific recommendations repeatedly and consistently at home. This requires a significant commitment from the parents. This approach is often part of the treatment plan since numerous medical studies of children with bladder control problems show excellent, long-lasting results when behavior modification is successful.
- Medications to promote daily bowel movements
- Bladder medications that help control bladder spasms, contractions or overactive bladder
- Bedwetting medications are sometimes helpful in certain situations
- Antibiotics are used in the treatment of urinary tract infections