Cystoscopy is a procedure that is done to diagnose any complications in the urinary tract which includes the bladder and the urethra. It is performed by inserting an instrument called the cystoscope that has lenses at its tip which helps focus on the inner surfaces of the urinary tract. Though the procedure may seem very frightening it is not nearly as bad as it seems and usually leaves you with a little discomfort.
Cystoscopy is performed when there is a complication in the urinary bladder. This can present itself in the form of recurrent infections, bleeding, pain, difficulty in urinating or frequent urination, unusual growth, polyps, tumors or cancer, unusual cells found in the urine sample or in cases of stones in the urinary tract.
You should not eat or drink anything the night before performing cystoscopy and if you are on any medication, it is advised that you inform your doctor about the same. Also let your doctor know of any allergies that you suffer from due to medications or other substances. A urine sample could be taken before the procedure to check for any infection.
You will be asked to change into a gown provided by the hospital and also urinate before the cystoscopy. You would be required to lie on your back with your legs slightly parted. A nurse or technician will apply a local anesthetic either directly from the tube or with the help of a syringe without the needle into the urethra. The cystoscope is then gently inserted into the opening at the head of the penis and gently guided inwards. Once the cystoscope is inside the bladder the doctor will introduce a small amount of sterile liquid like water, saline or glycine solution through the cystoscope into the bladder, as the sterile liquid would enable the bladder to expand. This is done as it enables the doctor to conduct a better and more detailed examination. In case of a detection of bladder stones, the doctor will try to crush them so that they can pass out of the bladder through normal urine. If any suspicious growth is observed, the doctor will take a sample of it through a special grasping tool for this purpose and send it to the laboratory for testing. The entire procedure takes not more than 10 minutes but may take longer in case the above mentioned procedures need to be performed.