1 What is a Cystoscopy?

Cystoscopy is a procedure that permits your doctor to do an examination of the lining of your bladder and the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra).

A hollow tube known as a cystoscope, which is equipped with a lens is inserted into your urethra and is gently advanced into your bladder.

Cystoscopy can be performed in a testing room, using a local anesthetic jelly to numb your urethra. It can also be done as an outpatient procedure, with sedation.

Another option id to have a cystoscopy in the hospital during general anesthesia. The type of cystoscopy you will have depends on the reason for your procedure.

2 Reasons for Procedure

The main reason for a cystoscopy is in the diagnosing, monitoring and treatment of conditions that affect the bladder and urethra.

Your doctor might recommend cystoscopy for the following reasons:

Investigate the cause of signs and symptoms. The signs and symptoms which include blood in the urine, incontinence, overactive bladder and painful urination.

Cystoscopy can also be helpful in determining the cause of frequent urinary tract infections. However, cystoscopy is not generally done while you have a urinary tract infection.

Diagnose bladder diseases and conditions. Examples include bladder cancer, bladder stones and bladder inflammation (cystitis).

Treat bladder conditions and diseases. Special tools can be passed through the cystoscope to treat certain conditions. For example, very small bladder tumors may be removed during cystoscopy.

Diagnose an enlarged prostate. Cystoscopy can reveal a narrowing of the urethra where it passes through the prostate gland, showing signs of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia).

Your doctor might conduct a second procedure known as ureteroscopy at the same time as your cystoscopy.

Ureteroscopy uses a smaller scope to examine the tube that carries urine from your kidneys to your bladder (ureters).

3 Potential Risks

The potential risks of cystoscopy include the following: Infection. In rare cases, cystoscopy can introduce germs into your urinary tract, causing an infection.

In order to prevent any infection, you doctor might prescribe antibiotics to take before and after your cystoscopy.

The risk factors for developing a urinary tract infection after cystoscopy include advanced age, smoking and unusual anatomy in your urinary tract. Bleeding.

Cystoscopy may lead to bleeding, resulting in the presence of blood in your urine. Serious bleeding rarely occurs. Pain. You may experience abdominal pain and a burning sensation when urinating.

The complications are usually mild and decrease after the procedure. Signs and symptoms of a serious complication.

Call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience the following signs and symptoms:

  • An inability to urinate after cystoscopy.
  • Chills.
  • Abdominal pain and nausea.
  • Bright red blood or heavy blood clots in your urine.
  • A fever higher than 101.4 F (38.5 C).
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination that lasts for more than two days.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

You might be asked to do the following in preparation for the cystoscopy:

Take antibiotics. Your doctor might give you a prescription for antibiotics to take before and after the cystoscopy, especially if you have trouble fighting infections.

Wait to empty your bladder. Your doctor might first order a urine test before proceeding to the main procedure.

Wait to empty your bladder until you get to your appointment in case you need to provide a urine sample.

Prepare for sedation or anesthesia. If you will be given an intravenous (IV) sedative or general anesthetic during your cystoscopy, plan ahead for your recovery.

You will need to have someone drive you home after the procedure.

5 What to Expect

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.
  • A burning sensation during urination.
  • More frequent urination for the next day or two.

You can manage some of the discomforts if you do the following:

  • Hold a warm, moist washcloth over the opening to your urethra to help relieve pain. Repeat as needed.
  • Take a warm bath. However, your doctor may ask you to avoid baths.
  • Ask your doctor if you have any concern.
  • Drink water. Flushing out your bladder can reduce irritation. Try to drink 16 ounces (473 milliliters) of water each hour for the first two hours after your cystoscopy.
  • Call your doctor if you have concerns after your cystoscopy.

6 Procedure Results

You can be able to discuss the results of the cystoscopy immediately is finished. In other cases, however, your doctor may wait to discuss the results after a follow-up appointment.

If a biopsy was collected during your cystoscopy to test for bladder cancer, that sample will be taken to the lab for analysis.

When your tests are complete, your doctor will let you know the results.

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