Cystoscopy is a direct visual evaluation of the urethra and bladder. Some common reasons (but not all the reasons) that your doctor may want to perform this test include the evaluation of recurrent bladder infections, for a failure to respond medicines for overactive bladder, to look for possible bladder stones, and for the evaluation of blood in your urine.
Cystoscopy is performed by placing a lighted telescope (cystoscope) through the urethra to examine the bladder. The lighted cystoscope is connected to a camera that projects the image of the inside of your bladder onto a TV monitor. Your doctor will examine your bladder and urethra thoroughly to make sure there are no growths, bladder stones or other abnormalities that can be treated. Your doctor will also look to see if the ureters (the tubes that carry your urine from the kidney to the bladder) empty urine correctly into the bladder. The urethra is also examined for any abnormalities such as diverticulum (out pouching) during the test.
The risks to the procedure are minimal. Primarily injuries to the urethra or bladder occur but are extremely rare. Most often you will experience pain and burning with urination as well as some frequency and urgency problems for 12-24 hours. An anesthetic lidocaine gel will be used during the procedure to minimize discomfort during and after the procedure. Drinking good amounts of water and emptying your bladder frequently will help these symptoms improve and go away. If these symptoms (burning, frequency, urgency) do not improve or you think you have a bladder infection, please call our office and we will call in an antibiotic if appropriate.