Cystoscopy is a procedure that lets the health care provider view the urinary tract, particularly the bladder, the urethra, and the openings to the ureters. Cystoscopy can help find problems with the urinary tract. This may include early signs of cancer, infection, narrowing, blockage, or bleeding.
To do this procedure, a long, flexible, lighted tube, called a cystoscope, is put into the urethra and moved up into the bladder. Here, the doctor can look closely at the inside of the urethra and bladder. He or she can also wash the bladder, and access the structures with special instruments used through the scope.
During a cystoscopy, the doctor may remove tissue for further exam (called a biopsy). Some problems can be treated during the procedure.
A cystoscopy may be advised if your doctor thinks you have a problem of the urinary tract. For example, a structural problem may lead to a blockage of urine flow or a back flow of urine. If untreated, this may lead to complications.
Cystoscopy may also be used after gynecologic surgery near the bladder to check for proper placement of sutures and support devices.
Some medical problems of the urinary tract that may be found during cystoscopy include:
There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a cystoscopy.
Complications of cystoscopy may include:
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor before the procedure.
Urinary tract infection may interfere with a cystoscopy.
Based on your medical condition, your health care provider may request other specific preparation.
A cystoscopy may be done on an outpatient basis or during a hospital stay. Procedures may vary, depending on your condition and your doctor's practices.
Generally, a cystoscopy follows this process:
After the procedure, you may be taken to a recovery room for observation if sedation or anesthesia was used. Your recovery process will vary depending on the type of sedation that was given. Once your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are stable and you are alert, you will be taken to your hospital room or discharged to your home. Cystoscopy is most often done on an outpatient basis.
You may go back to your usual diet and activities unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
You will be encouraged to drink extra fluids, which dilutes the urine and reduces urinary discomfort, such as burning. Some burning with urination is normal after the procedure but should lessen over time. A warm sitz or tub bath may be urged to help ease urinary discomfort.
You may notice blood in your urine after the procedure. This is normal and should clear up over the next day or two.
Take a pain reliever for soreness or discomfort as advised by your doctor. Aspirin or certain other pain medicines may increase the chance of bleeding. Be sure to take only recommended medicines.
You may be given an antibiotic to take after the procedure. This is to help prevent infection. Be sure to take the antibiotic exactly as instructed.
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following:
Your doctor may give you other instructions after the procedure, depending on your situation.