A cystoscopy is a procedure to examine the bladder with a scope with a camera to view through the urethra and into the bladder. The urethra is a tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
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Reasons for Procedure
Cystoscopy may be done to look for causes of:
- Repeated urinary tract infections
- Blood in the urine (pee)
- Urinary incontinence
- Frequent urination
- Dribbling after urination
- Pain during urination
- Difficulty urinating
It may also help to diagnose:
- Bladder stones
- Pouches on the bladder wall
- Ulcers on the bladder wall
- Narrowing of the urethra
- Enlargement of the prostate gland in men
Problems from the test are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
- Damage to the bladder wall with the cystoscope—rare
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
- An active infection
- Chronic health problems, such as diabetes
- Bleeding disorders
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The care team might meet with you to talk about:
- Anesthesia options
- Any allergies you have
- Current medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements that you take and if you need to stop taking them before the test
The doctor may give:
- A sedative—you will feel relaxed
- Local anesthesia—the area will be numbed
Description of the Procedure
You will lie on an exam table. A scope will be passed into the urethra and then to the bladder. It will drain urine out of the bladder. A sample will be kept for testing. Next, the bladder will be filled with sterile water or saline solution. This will allow a better view of the bladder walls. The bladder and urethra will be examined. The scope will be removed.
How Long Will It Take?
Up to 15 minutes
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during the procedure. You may feel some discomfort when the bladder is filled during the exam. It can also create an urge to urinate.
At the Care Center
You will be able to go home after the test. There may be some burning or small amounts of blood in the urine after the test. This will go away as you pass more urine.
The doctor will share the results with you. It will help to guide care.
Problems to Look Out For
Call the doctor if you have:
- Frequency, urgency, or pain when passing urine
- Problems passing urine or fully emptying the bladder
- Blood in your urine or burning after 24 hours
- Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
- Pain in your belly, back, or side
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
- Cystoscopy. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/cystoscopy?article=77.
- Cytoscopy and ureteroscopy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/cystoscopy.
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