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Cystoscopy is a test which allows your doctor to look at the inside of the bladder and the urethra using a thin, lighted instrument known as cystoscope. This cystoscope is inserted into your urethra and slowly advanced into the bladder. Cystoscopy procedure is generally carried on by your doctor to look at those areas of your bladder and urethra which are usually not seen well on X-rays. Small surgical instruments can be inserted through the cystoscope which allows your doctor to remove samples of tissues (biopsy).
During a cystoscopy procedure small bladder stones or some small growths can be removed by your doctor thus eliminating the need for more extensive surgery.
Why is the Cystoscopy procedure done?
About an hour before the test, you may be given a sedative to help you relax. An intravenous (IV) needle may be placed in a vein in your arm to give you other medicines and fluids. You need to lie on your back on a special table with your knees bent, legs apart and your feet or thighs may be supported by stirrups. Your genital area will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution, and your abdomen and thighs will be covered with sterile cloths.
After the anaesthetic takes effect, a cystoscope will be inserted into your urethra and slowly moved into your bladder. After the cystoscope is inside your bladder, either sterile water or saline is injected through the scope which helps in expansion of your bladder and to create a clear view. A medicine will be injected through the scope to reduce chances of infection. Small instruments may be inserted through the cystoscope may be inserted through the scope to collect samples of tissues for biopsy which are later sent to the laboratory for analysis.
An urologist does the Cystoscopy procedure.
The cystoscope is usually in your bladder for only 2 to 10 minutes. But the entire test may take up to approximately 45 minutes or longer if other X-ray tests are done at the same time.
If a general anaesthesia is used, you may feel nothing during the test, but after the effect of the anaesthesia is gone your muscles may feel achy. Some people may also experience nausea after receiving a general anaesthesia.
In case of local anaesthesia, you may feel a burning sensation or an urge to urinate when the instrument is inserted and removed. When the sterile water or saline is put inside your bladder you may feel a cool sensation and an urgent need to urinate. Try to relax during the test by taking slow, deep breaths.