I have a cystoscopy in the morning! What should I expect?

March 5, 2010

A cystoscopy is a procedure where an endoscope is inserted through the patient’s urinary tract to examine the bladder and the urethra of the patient. The urethra is the tube that allows urine to pass from the urinary bladder to outside the body. A cystoscope, which is a special endoscope used for this procedure usually has lenses that one might find on a microscope or a telescope and is used to view, with magnification, the urinary tract and the urinary bladder. Scopes may vary in size but are usually about half the typical width of the urethra. In cases where the doctor suspects a blockage or any material that may require biopsy, the scope can be inserted with a tube that will allow other medical devices to be inserted to conduct the procedure or collect a sample.

There are two types of scopes used for a cystoscopy procedure. They are either flexible or rigid. The more popular and less painful one is the flexible scope that can be used on both men and women under local anesthesia. However, when using a rigid scope, the patient may be sedated to avoid any pain. A rigid scope is sometimes required to allow other medical tools to be inserted along with it.

The entire process of a cystoscopy takes between five and seven minutes between insertion and removal of the scope. This may be extended if the doctor finds any abnormality during the procedure as this may need further examination.

After completing a cystoscopy, patients may report some discomfort. A normal reaction to a cystoscopy is a burning sensation while passing urine. This symptom should gradually improve over a period of 24 hours. Patients may also suffer mild incontinence or leaking and this should also stop within the first day of the procedure. Passing small amounts of blood in the urine is normal after a cystoscopy but should stop happening after the first or second urination. It is recommended that you visit your doctor if the discomfort is extreme.

After a cystoscopy, the following steps are suggested. Drink water or any clear liquid, about two or three 8 ounce glasses over a two hour period, and pass urine after that. A warm damp cloth can be used over the urethral opening to provide some relief from pain. Doctors also recommend a warm bath immediately after the procedure that would help to ease any pain that would arise.

Submitted by M H on March 5, 2010 at 12:48

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