I'm having a cystoscopy done. I'm a female-will it hurt?

March 25, 2010

Blood in the urine, urgent/frequent voiding, irritation while voiding and incontinence are some of the reasons why women undergo cystoscopy. A cystoscopy helps remove any small growths in the urinary tracts as well as clear blockages in the urethra. It is common to use urethral catheters to help the flow of urine from kidneys to the bladder. During the process, a scope is used to examine the bladder to see any abnormalities with the organ and also to help with any surgeries being performed on the urinary tract. The organs that are observed are the urethra, bladder and the two ureters. Tissue samples, urine, small growths and even tiny gall bladder stones can be removed by this procedure.

There are a range of cystoscopy tests, and preparation depends mainly on the reason for the procedure. Some cases may require general anesthesia, others medication. Local anesthesia may also be used. Avoid eating anything orally the night before the procedure. This is not necessary if local anesthesia is being used. You will not experience any pain as the area will be numbed.

A sedative may be given about an hour before cystoscopy procedure starts. Other medicines and fluids may be given by intravenously. You will be asked to lie down and your legs will be elevated and supported by stirrups. The vaginal/urethral area will be cleaned with surgical soap and your thighs and abdomen will be covered with sterile cloths. A urinary cytology may be performed, if required. This is to test for cancerous cells. A lubricated cystoscope will then be inserted into your urethra and carefully guided to your bladder where sterile water will be injected. The instrument will remain in your bladder for about ten minutes during which readings and measurements are recorded. It will then be removed. You will then be asked to empty your bladder.  If necessary, a urethral dilation may be done during the cystoscopy. This enlarges the urethral opening and helps voiding. You can leave once the anesthesia wears off. You might be given some antibiotics or anti spasmodics.

It is normal to experience blood in the urine or a bloody urethral discharge for a few days or even a week after the procedure. Spasms and an urgent/frequent need to void are also normal. It is rare to have other complications or serious infections after a cystoscopy. Bleeding or infections do occur sometimes. The cystoscopy results should be available after a week.

Submitted by M T on March 25, 2010 at 12:45

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