Cystoscopy: What It Is, What It Is For, And How It Is Done

Cystoscopy is mainly done to investigate symptoms and identify changes in the bladder and may be requested by the doctor to:

  • Diagnose bladder or urethra tumors;
  • Identify infection in the urethra or bladder;
  • Check for the presence of foreign bodies;
  • Evaluate the size of the prostate, in the case of men;
  • Identify urinary stones;
  • Help identify the cause of burning or pain when urinating;
  • Investigate the cause of blood in the urine;
  • Check the cause of urinary incontinence.

Suppose any change in the bladder or urethra is verified during the exam. In that case, the doctor can collect part of the tissue and send it for a biopsy to make the diagnosis and treatment started if necessary. Understand what a biopsy is and how it is performed.

Exam Preparation

There is no need for preparation to take the exam, and the person can drink and eat normally. However, before carrying out the exam, the person must empty the bladder, and urine is usually collected for analysis to identify infections. See how the urine test is done.

When the patient chooses to undergo general anesthesia, it is necessary to stay in the hospital, fast for at least 8 hours, and suspend anticoagulant medications that they may be using.

How Cystoscopy Is Performed

Cystoscopy is a quick exam lasting an average of 15 to 20 minutes and can be done in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia with flexible video cystoscope. The device used in Cystoscopy is called a cystoscope and corresponds to a thin device with a micro camera at its end and can be flexible or rigid.

The type of cystoscope used varies according to the purpose of the procedure:

Flexible cystoscope: it is used when Cystoscopy is performed only to visualize the bladder and urethra, as it allows better visualization of the urinary structures due to its flexibility;

Rigid cystoscope: It is used when necessary to collect material for biopsy or inject medication into the bladder. In some cases, when the doctor identifies changes in the bladder during the examination, Cystoscopy with a rigid cystoscope may then be necessary.

The doctor cleans the area and applies an anesthetic gel to perform the exam so that the patient does not feel discomfort. When the region is no longer sensitive, the doctor inserts the cystoscope and observes the urethra and bladder by visualizing the images captured by the micro camera present at the end of the device. During the exam, the doctor can inject the saline solution to dilate the bladder to see it better or a drug absorbed by cancer cells, making them fluorescent, when there is suspicion of bladder cancer, for example.

After the exam, the person can return to their activities normally. However, it is expected that after the effect of anesthesia, the region may be a little sore and be able to observe the presence of blood in the urine and burning when urinating, for example. These symptoms usually go away after 48 hours; however, if they are persistent, it is essential to report them to the doctor to take necessary action to treat urinary incontinence denver CO.

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