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Cystoscopy | Private Healthcare | LivingCare Medical Services

Cystoscopy

A cystoscopy is a medical procedure used to examine the inside of the bladder using an instrument called a cystoscope.

A cystoscope is a thin, fibre optic flexible tube that has a light and a camera at one end. It's inserted into the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body) and moved up into the bladder.

The camera relays images to a screen, where they can be seen by the urologist (specialist in treating bladder conditions).

You will be able to go home on the same day.

Why cystoscopies are used

A cystoscopy can be used to investigate and treat symptoms and conditions that affect the bladder and urinary system. For example, it can be used to:

  • check for abnormalities in the bladder
  • remove a sample of bladder tissue for further testing (a biopsy) in cases of suspected cancer
  • treat certain bladder conditions, such as removing small kidney stones

Is a cystoscopy painful?

A flexible cystoscopy is usually carried out using a local anaesthetic gel or spray to numb the urethra. This will reduce any discomfort when the cystoscope is inserted into the urethra.

For a few days after the procedure, you may feel a burning sensation when passing urine and you may also pass blood in your urine. This is normal and isn't something to worry about, unless it's severe and lasts longer than a few days.

Risks

It's rare to experience serious complications after having a cystoscopy, but some people may experience persistent bleeding or problems passing urine. If this is the case they should seek medical advice. 

There's also a small risk of developing a urinary tract infection that affects your urethra, bladder or kidneys. See your GP if you experience the symptoms of infection, such as a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above.

Your appointment at LivingCare

You should have a bath or shower before you come to the clinic. Please bring your own dressing gown.

Please do not empty your bladder prior to your appointment as you will be asked to provide a urine sample before the test to check for any sign of infection.

On admission you will be greeted by a nurse who will check your details, ask you some brief questions about your medical history and record your blood pressure and pulse.

The doctor performing the procedure will then talk you through the test and you can ask any questions that you may have. You will then be required to sign a consent form.

The test usually takes about five minutes, but please allow one hour for your visit. The procedure is not usually painful although there may be some discomfort. A local anaesthetic gel is applied directly to the urethra and the cystoscopy is then carefully advanced up the urethra into the bladder. When the test is complete, the cytoscope is removed smoothly and easily. You will probably feel the need to pass urine afterwards as the bladder has been filled during the test.

You will be taken to the recovery area and asked to provide another sample of urine. You will then be offered a drink of water, and after a short rest you will be given discharge information and you can ask any more questions you may have before being allowed to go home.