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You Need Cystoscopy But That's Nothing

Updated on December 13, 2009

What You Need To Know About Cystoscopy

Cystoscopy is examination of the inside of the bladder and urethra, using a fine telescope passed through the urethra. It is a minor procedure with small risks of ill effects.

Flexible Cystoscopy is carried out using a fine, flexible, fibre-optic telescope under local anesthetic. This is often performed in the office setting or as an outpatient.

Rigid cystoscopy is carried out under general anesthesia. This is often performed in the hospital or as an inpatient.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why is this necessary?

It is necessary to see if there is any physical cause in the bladder or urethra, to account for your urinary symptoms.

2. What should I do to prepare for this?

No preparation is required for flexible cystoscopy. You can eat and drink as normal and attend the appointment. However if you are having a rigid cystoscopy, you will need to fast for 6 hours. You should be able to go home by yourself after flexible cystoscopy, but you cannot drive for 6 hours. After rigid cystoscopy under general anesthesia, you need escort home if you are leaving on the same day and you must not drive within 24 hours of the general anesthesia. If a bladder biopsy is likely, you should check with your doctor whether you need to stop aspirin or other blood thinners a few days prior to the biopsy.

3. What is involved in the actual process of flexible cystoscopy?

As you are awake throughout the procedure, your doctor may give you a running commentary while he gets you prepared. The genital area is cleaned with a mild antiseptic and the area covered with a sterile sheet. Then a local anesthetic gel is put into the urethra. The gel comes in a tube and is squeezed into the urethra. There may be slight stinging as it starts to work. When the instrument reaches the sphincter inside the urethra, you will be asked to do the action of voiding or cough, to relax the sphincter. There may be a brief moment of discomfort as the telescope passes through.

When your doctor examines the bladder, he fills your bladder with saline and you may feel that you want to pass urine. By the end of the procedure which only takes a few minutes, you may feel the fullness and need to pass water again.

4. Will I feel any discomfort after the procedure?

You may feel minor pain in your urethra on passing urine. You may also see traces of blood in the urine. These symptoms should not last longer than 24 hours. Drinking more water helps a lot. Occasionally, infection (called cystitis) may occur and give you more pain, frequency and urgency than expected. Fever may also occur, rarely. Should you suspect that infection is present, contact your doctor. He will need to prescribe antibiotics to fix this.

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    • profile image

      Chris 

      6 years ago

      Good review-I have test done because of past minimal hematuria-on the mark

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      Excellent source of information, you have ease my doubts about this procedure. Thanks.

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