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Cystoscopy procedure | Bladder examination | Cystoscopy preparation

Guide to Cystoscopy procedureBrought to You by The Clane Hospital  
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Cystoscopy is the visual examination of the interior of the bladder using an instrument called a cystoscope or fibre-scope. The cystoscope is a rigid instrument which has a light source and a lens system for viewing. Passing the instrument into the bladder is painful and therefore a general or regional anaesthetic is required.

A fibre-scope is flexible and uses fibre-optics for vision and lighting. Passage of the instrument is relatively pain free and this can therefore be done under local anaesthetic. Indications for performing a cystoscopy include investigation of blood in the urine (haematuria) and difficulties in passing urine.

Technique and Preparation

Prior to the procedure the patient is assessed for overall fitness to receive an anaesthetic. Patients receiving a general anaesthetic will be asked to fast for a period of time prior to the procedure. Cystoscopies may be carried out during hospital admission but increasingly are performed in a Day Care facility (patients are admitted in the morning and discharged at the end of the day).

The patient is changed into a hospital gown and has a small canula placed in a vein on the back of the hand. When the anaesthetic is working the genitals are cleaned with an antiseptic solution. The urethra (the tube conveying urine from the bladder) is lubricated using antiseptic jelly. The cystoscope is introduced into the urethra and then passed into the bladder. The lining of the urethra and bladder are inspected.

There are two small tubes which join the bladder from the kidneys and which carry urine. These are called ureters. Their openings into the bladder should be identified and examined. Any abnormalities within the bladder or at the bladder neck are recorded. Sometimes a small sample of tissue is taken ( biopsy ) for examination under the microscope.

Discomfort, After Effects & Risks

There is a small risk associated with an anaesthetic. This is greater in patients with heart or lung disease. Following the procedure the urethra is usually sore and small amounts of blood may be passed in the urine particularly if a biopsy has been taken. There are few direct risks from a diagnostic cystoscopy. Damage to the lining of the bladder or urethra is possible.


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