Cystoscopy or Cystourethroscopy
A procedure usually performed by a urologist that allows the physician to see the inside of the lower urinary tract (urethra, prostate, bladder neck, and bladder). Cystoscopy can be used to detect abnormalities of the lower urinary tract or to assist in transurethral surgery.
In this procedure, a cystoscope is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. A cystoscope is a thin, telescope-like tube with a light and tiny camera attached. A cystoscope can be flexible or rigid and is about half the diameter of the urethra.
Cystoscopy may be used to evaluate and diagnose the following conditions:
• An enlarged prostate gland
Abnormalities that can be detected using the cystoscope include the following:
• Diverticula (sacs caused by abnormal holes in the urethra)
Cystoscopy may be used to treat some conditions such as:
• Remove a stone from the bladder
A cystoscopy is generally an outpatient procedure involving regional or general sedation or it may be performed in a physician’s office, under local anesthesia. Before undergoing the cystoscopy, patients should inform their physician if they are taking any medications, especially blood thinners.
If regional or general anesthesia is being used, patients are instructed to fast for at least 4 hours before the procedure. If local anesthesia is being used, a topical anesthetic is introduced prior to the
During the procedure, the cystoscope is slowly inserted into the urethra to the bladder. Using the camera, the physician examines the urethra and introduces a sterile liquid (e.g., water, saline) into the bladder to improve the view of the bladder wall. As the bladder fills, the patient may experience an uncomfortable urge to urinate.
Additional instruments can be passed through the cystoscope to allow the urologist to perform procedures, such as stone removal, bladder biopsy, resection of a bladder or prostate tumor, and cauterization.
Cystoscopy usually takes from a few minutes to about 20 minutes to perform and is painless. If the physician removes a stone, or sample of tissue (biopsy), the procedure may take longer. After the procedure, fluid is drained from the bladder and a catheter (thin, flexible tube) may be left in the bladder.
After the Procedure
There may be temporary swelling of the uretha which may cause a stinging sensation while urinating, but this will pass in a couple of days. Also, there may be a small amount of blood in the urine. This too should pass within 48 hours, if not consult your physician.
Complications are rarely serious and may include the following:
• Adverse reaction to anesthesia
Rarely, complications such as acute urinary retention occur following cystoscopy. This condition is a medical emergency and requires prompt medical attention.