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Cystoscopy Definition and Information

A cystoscopy is an endoscopic procedure used to examine the internal state of the urethra and lining of the bladder. This procedure is typically performed to investigate concerning symptoms of the urinary system that are unable to be diagnosed through more traditional imaging tests such as an X-ray.

The Purpose of a Cystoscopy

The urologists at Southeast Valley Urology commonly perform cystoscopy procedures in order to accurately diagnose a patient’s symptoms that are likely caused by a condition of the urethra or bladder, including:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Bladder stones
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is also known as an enlarged prostate
  • Tumors of the bladder
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Overactive bladder
  • Inflammation of the bladder (cystitis)
  • Hematuria (blood in the urine)
  • Bladder cancer

All of the conditions mentioned will become much more aggressive over time if left untreated, which will lead to worsening symptoms such as loss of control over the bladder, sepsis, or even death. To prevent such an extreme outcome, it is much better for the patient and their long-term health to diagnose the cause of their discomfort as soon as possible.

What Happens During and After a Cystoscopy

To begin this procedure, a small tube called a cystoscope is inserted into the patient’s urethra. Inside of this tube exists a camera that transmits images from inside the urethra and bladder to a monitor in front of the urologist so that they can clearly see these internal organs.

This instant visual allows the physician a chance to assess the tissues of the urethra and bladder, and hopefully determine a direct source of their patient’s symptoms. Your urologist is also likely to fill the bladder with a sterile solution to improve their view and provide a more accurate diagnosis. Some patients already determined to have bladder stones may have them removed during a cystoscopy, or it is also possible for a tissue sample to be taken for further testing after the procedure is complete if your physician suspects that these tissues may be cancerous.

Patients may either be numbed or fully sedated during a cystoscopy. The procedure is known to be somewhat painful, as the placement of the cystoscope into the urethra can cause some discomfort. This generally results in a soreness that subsides gradually in the days following your cystoscopy. You may also notice a mild burning sensation when you urinate, though this is also a perfectly normal side effect of the procedure.

Rare, Yet Serious Signs of a Complication

As with any procedure, there are a small number of risks associated with a cystoscopy. If you begin to notice any of the following symptoms after your endoscopic assessment, please contact Southeast Valley Urology immediately for early intervention:

  • You’re unable to urinate
  • You have a fever of 101.4 F or higher
  • You get the chills
  • There are large amounts of blood or blood clots in your urine
  • You experience pain in your chest
  • You become nauseous
  • While urinating you notice intense pain that lasts for more than two days

When Will My Results Be Ready?

Depending on the particular patient and their physician, some individuals may be consulted about their cystoscopy results immediately after it is over. Others, especially those that have been under general anesthesia during their procedure, will be given their results later on. Dr. Simoncini or Dr. Shaba may also need to wait until additional testing has been finished on any samples that may have been taken during your cystoscopy.