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A couple of months ago I purchased a portable bladder scanner to measure my bladder volumes and learn more about how my voiding function works. Used, refurbished units, similar to what many urologists use, can be purchased online at a fraction of their retail cost. I ended up paying a little over $1,000 for a unit that originally sold for 10K. But 2K is a more reasonable price if you don’t want to spend a lot of time hunting around and matching parts, which I ended up doing.
There are basically three types of units you can find. The more common 3D automated units – mostly manufactured by Verathon are “point and shoot” and give you a number for your residual volume in a digital read out. Everything is done by the software as there is no ultrasound picture generated.
The 2D real-time scanners, as their name suggest, give you a real-time ultrasound picture of your bladder similar to the big hospital units which are used for bladder/kidney studies.
And the newer real-time 3D units, likewise give you a real-time ultrasound picture, but unlike the 2-D units they scan both sagittal and transverse planes in one pass, as opposed to two.
For most people, an older refurbished automated 3D Verathon unit would suffice. I’ve seen them refurbished for around $1,800. I opted for the 2D real-time unit because I have an irregularly shaped bladder and diverticulum and wanted a bladder scanner that could target and differentiate the bladder from the diverticulum. The real-time scanners also allow you to observe and study the actual voiding process, which was important for me. If money was no object, I would have purchased one of the newer 3D real time units but I haven’t seen any used ones on the market, and the least expensive new unit is 6K with some over 10K.
I’ll end by saying that most people probablydon’t need a home bladder scanner as the same information can be gotten from a doctor’s visit or a hospital bladder/kidney study.
On the other hand, if so motivated, the advantage is that you can check volumes whenever you want. For those self cathing, who are not on a regular schedule, they can save unnecessary catherizations and facilitate a bespoke approach. They can also be helpful as “reality/safety checks” if you’re doing a bladder rehab approach such as my “off/on” strategy. Link here: https://patient.info/forums/discuss/self-catherization-an-on-on-off-strategy--591671
For those with overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) they can be used as part of a retraining program to better time your voids so that you won’t void with either too much or too little in your bladder. Jim
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