A cystoscopy procedure, performed with a tool called a cystoscope, is a procedure to examine the inside of the bladder and urethra. Two different types of cystoscopes can be used for the cystoscopy procedure. The standard cystoscope used for the cystoscopy procedure is rigid. The other flexible type of cystoscope may be used by some doctors in special circumstances where the standard rigid style of cystoscope will not do.
The cystoscopy procedure generally takes between five and twenty minutes. The patient lies back with knees up and apart and the urethra is cleansed. Numbing medication is applied to the urethra and the area around the urethral opening without the use of a needle (no shots necessary). At that point, the cystoscopy procedure begins, when the cystoscope is inserted into the bladder via the urethra.
The next part of the cystoscopy procedure has the bladder being filled with saline. The patient is asked to describe the sensation, and answers given are used to help diagnose the various conditions the cystoscopy procedure tests for. Fluid fills the bladder, stretching the bladder wall, allowing the physician to see the whole of the bladder wall, which is important for the examination the cystoscopy procedure allows. Samples of any abnormal tissue can be taken for biopsy using the cystoscope.
The cystoscopy procedure is used to diagnose cancer of the bladder or urethra, evaluate urinary tract disorders, find the causes of repeat bladder infections, and help determine the cause of pain during urination. The cystoscopy procedure is generally safe, but as with any even diagnostic procedure, there are some risks, including in this case bleeding from biopsy and a potential of puncturing the bladder wall. These risks are rare, however. Contact your physician to learn if the cystoscopy procedure is something you should undergo.