Cystoscopy is a routine technique used by urologists to examine the bladder lining and the urethra. Most insurances will cover the cost of cystoscopy. In general, the process involves inserting a hollow tube into the urethra and slowly move it up the bladder. A cystoscopy is normally required for urinary tract infections.

When is a Cystoscopy Needed?

Urinary tract infections may affect any part of the urinary tract. The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and the urethra.

The kidneys remove toxins from the blood that passes through them using nephrons, tiny units that filter the blood. Then, the kidneys produce urine as the end-products of the filtration process. The urine then passes through the ureters on its way to the bladder. A human body has two ureters and each ureter connects to one kidney.

The bladder stores the urine for as long as it necessary. When it is time to excrete it, the bladder expands allowing the urine to follow out. The urine directly flows into the urethra. The urethra is a long thin tube that urine passes through on its way out of the body.

doctor consulting patient

Urinary Tract Infections

The passage of urine from the kidney all the way to the urethra can result in an infection on any of the organs involved in the process. The infection is mostly noticed through symptoms.

There are many ways of treating the infections, mostly depending on their cause and the actual organ that they affect. Cystoscopy is one method used to treat such infections. Normally, it is used to diagnose bladder infections. If you’ve experienced a bladder infection, UTI or OAB, you may have already started to investigate by searching terms like “Cystoscopy near me.” Call us today at 678-344-8900 to make an appointment.

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When Is Cystoscopy Required?

A cystoscopy is required to treat the following conditions:

  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • Hematuria (the presence of blood in urine)
  • Cancer or tumor
  • Stone in any of the urinary tract organs (kidney stone or bladder stone)
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Urethral Stricture
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Presence of abnormal cells in urine
  • Incontinence or overactive bladder – these conditions are as a result of lack of bladder control
  • Pelvic pain

The Risks Associated With Cystoscopy

The following can be experienced after having cystoscopy:

  • Abnormal urination – People normally experience burning sensations days after they have had the procedure. This is not something to worry about. The urge to urinate can be intense, and there is no need to try and hold it. Holding it will allow the blood in the bladder to clot and possibly cause a blockage.
  • Infection – The procedure can cause germs to enter the urinary tract resulting in infection. The good news is that this rarely happens. This is the reason why doctors may prescribe antibiotics before and after the procedure. Factors such as age and an unusual structure of the urinary tract increase the possibility of having an infection.
  • Pain – Many people will likely experience a burning sensation when passing urine and abdominal pain. The pain is not severe and gets better over time.
  • Bleeding – Many people pass urine with blood. This is not a serious case and there a few isolated cases when the bleeding is severe.
  • Urethritis – Urethritis is the swelling of the urethra. This is the most frequent complication and is coupled with difficulties in urinating. People who go for more than eight hours experiencing difficulties in urinating should see their doctor immediately.
  • Persistent pain in the stomach – This calls for an immediate visit to the doctor.

doctor consulting patient


Preparing for a Cystoscopy

  • Antibiotics – You’ll likely be prescribed antibiotics before the procedure. They can be taken before or after the procedure. They are good for people with weaker immune systems.
  • Bladder – A urine sample might be required before the surgery, and the bladder needs to be emptied.
  • Some anesthesia is needed for the procedure. The anesthesia used can vary from person to person. The available options include:
    • Local anesthesia – The patient will be awake. Patients are allowed to eat and drink on the day of the procedure and can be discharged on the very same day.
    • General anesthesia – The patient will be unconscious during the procedure. Patients are required not to eat food some hours prior to the cystoscopy.
    • Regional anesthesia – A patient is given an injection.

What to Expect from the Cystoscopy Procedure

A patient may need to empty their bladder before the onset of the procedure. The patient will lie down wearing a surgical gown on the treatment table. The patient is then administered anesthesia. Depending on the anesthesia given, the patient may be conscious or asleep. The patient may also be given a sedative for relaxation purposes.

  • A spray or gel will be applied to the urethra in order to reduce the pain. The scope to be used is lubricated with gel so that it can slide smoothly. The scope is slowly inserted into the urethra. The patient has a sensation of urinating.
  • For investigation purposes, a flexible scope is used by the doctor. Thicker scopes are used for biopsies or surgical treatments.
  • The doctor will be monitoring the movement of the scope through a lens. The procedure takes between five to 30 minutes depending on the anesthesia used.

Effectiveness of Cystoscopy

The effectiveness of cystoscopy can be seen in the results of the procedure, which are available immediately or may take a couple of days. Patients who have biopsies will wait a bit longer for the results because the tests have to be sent to a lab for analysis.

Recovery after Cystoscopy

Some patients may go home immediately after the surgery while others will be discharged within a few hours. Patients allow themselves a period of rest after cystoscopy. The procedure will push patients to visit the bathroom frequently. Those in cystoscopy recovery should be prepared for this and also drink large quantities of water.

  • It is not advisable for someone who has had a surgical procedure to work, drive or participate in any physical activities.
  • Avoid sex until your doctor clears you to do so.
  • The doctor will likely schedule some follow-up appointments. These are very important for the doctor monitor you to see if the surgery produced the desired or expected results.

Advanced Urology is actively monitoring the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The health and well-being of our patients, staff and their families is of utmost importance to us. We will continue to follow CDC guidelines to help prevent exposure and spread of the virus. We are staying open to serve our patients in-person and offering Telehealth appointments for those that prefer to access care from home.