Cystoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure that is performed to examine and treat conditions within the bladder that may not show up clearly on an X-ray or other common imaging procedure. With this procedure, doctors can clearly visualize targeted areas within the bladder. Doctors may perform a cystoscopy for a variety of reasons that may include:
- Determining the cause of blood in the urine
- Investigating repeated urinary tract infections
- Evaluating blockages in the urethra
- Removing tissue samples for biopsy
- Removing foreign objects
- Placing a catheter in the ureter
The Cystoscopy Procedure
Prior to the cystoscopy procedure, patients are asked to empty their bladder. Local anesthesia is administered before the cystoscope, a thin lighted tube, is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder. Water or saline is then dispensed into the bladder through the cystoscope. As the fluid fills the bladder, the bladder wall is stretched, allowing the doctor to fully view the bladder in detail. Additional instruments may also be inserted to collect tissue samples or remove any abnormalities. The examination usually takes only about ten minutes to perform, although the entire process may last 45 minutes.
Complications of Cystoscopy
Cystoscopy is considered safe for most patients, with no permanent complications. After the procedure, there may be mild swelling in the urethra and burning during urination, however these side effects usually diminish within 48 hours after the procedure.
Who May Need a Cystoscopy?
If you are experiencing the following bladder issues or symptoms, it may be a sign that you need a cystoscopy:
- Overactive bladder
- Blood in urine
- Painful urination
- Frequent urinary tract infections
What Are the Different Types of Cystoscopies?
Depending on your needs, comfort level, and the severity of your symptoms, your cystoscopy can be performed one of two ways:
Flexible Cystoscopy: This method involves the use of a thin, flexible cystoscope that is used to examine the bladder. During this procedure, most patients remain awake.
Rigid Cystoscopy: This method involves the use of a non-bendable, wider cystoscope that provides firmness when examining the bladder. Most patients will either be put to sleep or numbed in the lower half of their body for this procedure.
What Treatments Are Used During a Cystoscopy?
During your cystoscopy, you can expect to undergo a few of the following treatments:
- Injection of medication to stop uncontrollable leakage
- Removal of a ureter stent
- Removal of bladder stones
- Removal of abnormal tissue or tumors
- Scraping of the bladder or urethral tissue for further biopsy
How Do I Prepare for My Cystoscopy Procedure?
Despite being an examination of your bladder, it typically is not required that patients arrive at their cystoscopy appointment with a full bladder. You may eat and drink as normal before your appointment, as you will be asked to empty your bladder immediately before the procedure.
It is perfectly safe to continue any prescribed medications before your cystoscopy unless you are taking Aspiring or any other type of blood-thinning medications. Blood-thinning medications should be avoided for the duration of your procedure and recovery as they increase bleeding.
What Is Recovery Like After My Cystoscopy?
After a cystoscopy, patients may experience a few common side effects that may feel concerning but are normal, and expected to disappear within one to days after your procedure. These side effects include:
- Slight bleeding
- Pain in the abdomen
- The stinging sensation when urinating
- Pink urine
How Long Will It Take to Get My Test Results?
At Greater Hartford Urology Group, we do our best to provide timely results to each patient. Following your cystoscopy, your doctor may be able to discuss your results briefly with you on the same day of your appointment. However, your cystoscopy and symptoms require the need for testing a tissue sample, you may not get these lab results for up to three weeks.
When Should I See A Doctor for My Bladder Problems?
Some patients may experience bladder issues and perceive them as normal. However, if you’ve been treated in the past for conditions such as UTI with antibiotics or feel that sensations such as burning or pain during urination have not improved within a week, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Although they may start insignificant, bladder problems can lead to life-altering issues. Luckily, however, our team at Greater Hartford Urology Group is ready to help treat them, leading patients back to a healthy, normal life.
Schedule a Consultation
Are you interested in finding out the causes behind your bladder problems? Schedule a consultation with one of our highly experienced urologists at Greater Hartford Urology Group today by clicking here. To learn more about our cystoscopy procedure, call (860) 522-2251. With locations in Hartford, Enfield, and Glastonbury, we are proud to serve patients all across Connecticut.