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Ultrasound Bladder-Prostate Pre and Post-Void

About Test

Ultrasound is a radiological test that uses sound waves to visualize and assess the inside of the body's structures. The urinary bladder is a muscular organ that holds urine and controls its release. Ultrasound of the bladder is used to identify any disease process that can hamper its functions, including enlarged prostate. The prostate gland is a male sexual organ that adds fluid to the semen and encircles some part of the urethra (the tube through which the urine exits the body). The prostate gland enlarges as men age, thus obstructing the urinary flow. So for urinary complaints, it is helpful to look at the prostate as it can be one of the reasons for the urinary complaints.

Ultrasound of the bladder is performed with a full bladder, that is to say, before urination (pre-void). Often bladder function is also assessed by measuring the residual amount of urine left in your bladder after urination, called the post-void residual volume (PVR) test. This test is often performed in cases of obstruction to the passage of urine to check the severity of obstruction and devise a treatment plan accordingly.


Why and when do you need this test?

Your doctor may advise for the ultrasound bladder for the following reasons;

  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain in urination
  • Leaking of urine
  • The urgent impulse to pass urine
  • Passing blood in the urine
  • To look for stones or masses in the bladder and prostate
  • To take the biopsy under ultrasound guidance (if the mass is suspected)


Do you need to prepare for the test?

You will be guided about the pre-requisites of the test, some of which may include;

  • Ask your doctor about water drinking and peeing. You may need a filled bladder initially. Later you may be asked to empty the bladder.
  • Wear easy and comfortable dressing to expose the parts when asked.
  • Take your medicines as guided by your doctor.




What can you expect?

  • You will be requested to lie down on the bed.
  • A gel will be applied to your lower abdomen, onto which a transducer will be kept and moved.
  • The transducer looks like a microphone transmitting sound waves to make images on the attached computer.
  • First, the ultrasound will be done with a full bladder, then one more time after you pee.
  • The test may take 20-30 minutes.
  • After the procedure, the gel will be removed, and you may return to your daily activities immediately.


Are there any risks to this test?

It is a non-invasive, harmless procedure that doesn’t use X-rays. It is a painless test but you may feel uncomfortable due to the filled bladder,

What do the test results mean?

The abnormal results may include any of the following conditions;

  • Stone in your bladder
  • Stone or stricture in your urethra
  • Enlarged prostate.
  • Infection of the bladder or urethra
  • Tumor obstructing bladder or urethra
  • Neurogenic bladder (diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease)
  • Tumor or mass in the prostate


Related Tests

The following tests may be related to ultrasound bladder;

  • Urine lab testing
  • Cystoscopy
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)