is one specific diagnostic procedure that allows a doctor to examine the inside of patient’s bladder and urethra. What exactly is a urethra? The urethra is the tube that drains urine from bladder to the outside of body. It is important to know that the whole exam is done using a viewing instrument called a cystoscope- a thin, smooth tube equipped with a bright light and lenses.
Types of cystoscopy
There are two main types of cystoscopy - flexible and rigid - differing in the flexibility of the cystoscope.
It is important to know that flexible cystoscopy is carried out using local anesthesia on both sexes. In most cases- Lidocaine gel is used as an anaesthetic, instilled in the urethra.
Flexible cystoscope is a fibre optic instrument that can bend easily and has a movable tip that makes it easy to pass along the curves of the urethra. Patients should know that this is more commonly used particularly for diagnosis and for the follow up of most bladder tumors.
There isn't anything so much different with this type of cystoscopy accept the fact that it can be performed under the same conditions, but under general anesthesia, particularly in male subjects, due to the discomfort caused by the probe. What exactly is rigid cystoscope? Well, it is a solid straight telescope, which has been in use for many years. It is used alone with a high intensity light source.
Indications for cystoscopy
Every patient should know that cystoscopy could be extremely useful for finding out what is causing symptoms such as blood in the urine or difficulties with urination, and certain bladder conditions. It enables the doctor to inspect the bladder lining very closely for abnormal growths, bulges, ulcers or stones. Patient should also know that, during the procedure, the doctor may also take a biopsy for examination in the laboratory.
Cystoscopy can also be used to treat some conditions such as:
Preparations for the procedure
Before anything else- doctor should first review patient’s medical and surgical histories, current medications and history of allergies. It is recommended that patient drink plenty of fluids before the procedure. Depending on the reason for your cystoscopy, patient may also need to use enemas and laxatives to clear bowels. In most cases, patient will be awake during the procedure because only local anesthesia is being used!
Cystoscopy and bladder biopsy is performed by a urologist—a surgeon who specializes in treating problems affecting the urinary tract. After the painkillers wear off, you may experience back pain, bladder spasms, a need to urinate more often than usual. Good thing for patients is that this procedure is routinely performed as an outpatient or day case, with no overnight stay in hospital. This is because it is usually done under local anaesthetic, which is given in the form of a gel placed into the opening of the urethra. In most cases- a cystoscopy only takes about five minutes to perform. Important thing for patients to know is that it is necessary to empty the bladder just before having the procedure. Of course, the fact is also that the procedure can't start immediately because when anaesthetic jelly is used, it will be squeezed into the urethra using a syringe, and will take effect in five to ten minutes. Then the procedure begins! The cystoscope will then be carefully passed into the urethra. It is a bit complicated when it is a case of male patient! Men may be asked to try passing urine while the cystoscope is being inserted. This is simply to help relax the muscles. Because the bladder is empty- no urine will come out! Once the end of the cystoscope is in the bladder, sterile water will be passed through it to fill the bladder up and make the whole of the lining visible. A tiny light and lens on the cystoscope enable the doctor to see any abnormal growths or disease. What's most important- this procedure is quick and painless. After the examination, the cystoscope is removed quickly and easily.
What to expect afterwards
Well, logically- because the bladder will be full of water, it will probably be necessary to pass urine again once the procedure is finished. When cystoscopy has been completed, fluid is drained from the bladder. Depending on the nature of the procedure being performed, a catheter may be left in place to continuously drain the bladder. Good thing about this procedure is that most people feel ready to go home after a short rest in a full-length chair or on a bed and most people feel able to resume normal activities on the following day. There are some things that every patient should know.
It is normal to experience mild stinging on passing urine for a day or two after this procedure. Drinking plenty of water can help this, and can also prevent the development of infection or inflammation. The recommended amount is about three liters of water over the course of 24 hours. If blood is present in the urine, patient shouldn’t be scared because it is completely normal! Drinking a little extra water and resting for an hour or two will usually settle things down. However, it is important to contact the hospital or a GP immediately if any of the following occur:
Every patient should ask his or her doctor when you to resume vigorous exercise and sexual activity.
Possible side effects and complications
Cystoscopy is generally a safe procedure. Everyone should know that side-effects are the unwanted but usually mild and temporary effects of a successful procedure. When we talk about cystoscopy, then we should know that the possible side effects that could occur are:
Complications are unexpected problems that can occur during or after the procedure. Most people are not affected. However, the possible complications of a cystoscopy include:
Risk of perforation
Although it is extremely rare- every patient should know about one complication unique to cystoscopy. It is the risk of perforation or a tear. A perforation can occur anywhere along the urinary tract—the urethra, bladder, or ureter. Of course- the risk of perforation increases with the complexity of the procedure being performed. Good thing is that most of these perforations can be managed conservatively, without open surgery. Similarly, a catheter can be placed into the bladder to divert urine from the bladder and urethra while a perforation heals.
Risks of scar tissue
It is no secret that Cystoscopy procedures can also create scar tissue. This tissue can cause a stricture, or narrowing, in the urethra. Of course, it isn't difficult to assume that all this may cause difficulties during urination. Sometimes an additional cystoscopy procedure is necessary to remove the scar tissue. This complication is almost exclusive to males.
Are there any alternatives to cystoscopy?
Unfortunately- it may be essential to have a cystoscopy in order to diagnose some bladder conditions. The cystoscope enables the doctor to view parts of the urethra and bladder that tend not to show up well on x-rays and in some cases- it is irreplaceable! Another form of cystoscopy, using a rigid rather than a flexible instrument can be used for giving treatment to the bladder and urinary tract.