Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your cystoscopy procedure.
During the cystoscopy. The normal duration of a simple outpatient cystoscopy is about 15 minutes. If performed in the hospital under sedation or general anesthesia, cystoscopy can take 15 to 30 minutes.
A normal cystoscopy procedure might follow the following process:
You will be first asked to empty your bladder.
You will then lie on your back, with your feet in stirrups and your knees bent.
You may or may need a sedative or an anesthetic.
You will be fully aware, but will feel the need to sleep if a sedative is administered.
If you receive general anesthesia, you will be asleep during the procedure and, thus unaware.
Both types of medication may be given to you through a vein in your arm.
Your doctor will insert the cystoscope. In order to prevent pain during the insertion of the cystoscope, a numbing gel will be applied to your urethra.
After waiting for several minutes for the numbing to take full effect, your doctor will carefully push the cystoscope into your urethra, using the smallest scope possible.
Large scopes might be needed to take tissue samples or to pass surgical tools into the bladder.
Your doctor will then examine your urethra and bladder. There is a lens on one end of the cystoscope that works like a telescope to magnify the inner surfaces of your urethra and bladder.
Your doctor might place a special video camera over the lens to project the images onto a video screen.
Your bladder will then be filled with a sterile solution. This solution has the ability to inflate the bladder and allows your doctor to get a better look at the internal environment.
As your bladder fills, you may feel the need to urinate. You will be encouraged to do so once the procedure is finished.
Tissue samples might be taken. Your doctor might also take some tissue samples for lab testing, or perform other procedures during the cystoscopy.
After the cystoscopy. This is an outpatient procedure, therefore, you will be able to return to your normal activities after its completion.
If you have had sedation or general anesthesia, you might be asked to remain in the recovery area to allow the effects of the medication to wear off before you can leave.
The following side effects might be experienced after cystoscopy:
Bleeding from your urethra, which may appear bright pink in your urine or on toilet tissue.
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