Cystoscopy with Women's Wellness Center

What Is the Purpose of Cystoscopy?

Cystoscopy is commonly used in the evaluation of bladder disorders such urinary incontinence, interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome), and recurrent bladder infections. It can also be used to determine the cause of blood in the urine, and to detect stones in the bladder. Obvious causes of bladder overactivity, such as inflammation, stone, and tumor, can be easily diagnosed with cystoscopy. A visual inspection of the urethra helps establish the presence of urethral narrowing or evidence of poor urethral closure. This information is important in determining the cause of incontinence and may influence treatment decisions.

How Is a Cystoscopy Performed?

Cystoscopy can be performed in our office. Your doctor will place a cystoscope, a thin, flexible instrument that contains a lighted scope or camera, through your urethra into your bladder. Once the cystoscope is in your bladder, saline solution, along with medication to prevent infection, is delivered into the bladder. Filling the bladder helps your doctor see the entire bladder wall and anything that should not be there, such as a tumor or stone. At the end of the procedure, the fluid is drained.

Is Cystoscopy Painful?

A local topical anesthetic (not an injection) is given to keep you comfortable during the procedure. A sedative can be given if you are unusually anxious, however sedation is usually not necessary. When the procedure is over, you may feel mild soreness for a day or two.

What Kind of Self-care Is Important After the Procedure?

Your doctor will give you specific directions on how to care for yourself after the procedure is done. If a sedative is administered for the procedure, you should not drive immediately afterward, and should make arrangements for someone to take you home. You should rest on the day of the procedure, and drink plenty of fluids for the next few days.

What Are the Risks of Undergoing Cystoscopy?

Cystoscopy is a very safe procedure, but there are risks. In rare instances, patients develop infections, bleeding, complications from anesthesia, or the bladder wall may be punctured. Antibiotics are routinely given before the procedure to reduce the risk of infection.