It is used both to diagnose or treat problems affecting the bladder and to monitor a lesion’s progress.
Your doctor may prescribe a cystoscopy in any of the following situations:
- Unexplained blood in the urine (hematuria);
- Recurrent urinary tract infections;
- Lower abdominal pain in the bladder;
- Suspected polyps or tumors in the urinary tract;
- Problems with urination.
The cystoscopy is performed under local anesthesia by a urologist using a cystoscope, a thin tube equipped with fiber optics or a mini video camera. The doctor first disinfects the urinary meatus (the opening through which urine exits the body), then instills an anesthetic gel into the urethra. The cystoscope is then inserted into the bladder through the urethra.
Once the cystoscope is inserted, the doctor instills sterile water into the bladder to fill it and gain a better view of surrounding walls. The images are displayed on a screen. The doctor performs a biopsy or, if necessary, removes any present foreign bodies. At the end of the examination, you will be asked to urinate in order to flush the water from your system.
A urine test may also be performed prior to the examination.
You may feel some pain and a burning sensation during urination in the hours following the examination. Please note that any discomfort is short-lived.