A cystoscopy is a procedure that uses an instrument to visually view the inside lining of the urethra (the pipe via which the bladder empties urine) and the urinary bladder (often called a camera). It is normally performed by a urologist or a specialist urology nurse, but it can also be performed by a qualified gynaecologist. The most common indications for cystoscopy in diagnosis are: blood in the urine, persistent urinary incontinence, gas bubbles in the urine, crystal passing in urine, and an irritable bladder.
A cystoscopy can also be used to get access to the ureters (the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder) so that they can be inspected (ureteroscopy) or visualized using injected dye (ureterography) if there is a suspected blockage or stone.
What are the Types of Cystoscopy?
Cystoscopy can be conducted as an outpatient procedure with a thin flexible fiber-optic endoscope. Sedation is not usually required because a local anesthetic gel is applied. A rigid metallic endoscope under general or regional anesthesia, or sedation, can also be employed as a day case operation without the requirement for an overnight stay in the hospital.
How is Cystoscopy Performed?
Women are positioned flat on their backs, legs bent and heels together. All mothers who have given birth vaginally will be familiar with this position. A cystoscopy usually takes about 5 minutes to perform. An antibiotic is applied to the skin at the urethral outlet (at the end of the penis in males and just inside the vagina in women). The local anesthetic gel is then injected to the urethra with a needleless syringe that takes effect after a few minutes. Because it is only a surface gel, it is never completely successful at numbing the urethra, although it does aid and works as a lubricant. The endoscope is then gently directed down the urethra, through the prostate gland (in men), and into the bladder. Across the process, the urethral and bladder linings are methodically inspected, and any abnormalities are described and noted.
If you would like to know more about the bladder issue and its diagnosis, consult a professional London gynaecologist, Mrs. Sarah Hussain. Contact us to book an appointment.