Cystoscopy is an endoscopic procedure where a tube is inserted into the urethra through the opening at the end of the penis. It allows me to visually examine the complete length of the urethra and the bladder for polyps, strictures, abnormal growths and other problems.
Why is the test is performed?
- To diagnose and evaluate disorders of the urinary tract
- To identify cancers of the bladder or urethra
- To determine the cause of pain in the urinary tract.
How does the test work?
There are two types of cystoscopes:
- Rigid cystoscope
- Flexible cystoscope
In both methods, the actual test is carried out very similarly, with the exception of the positioning. With the rigid cystoscope, you lie on your back with your knees up and apart. The penis and surrounding area is cleaned and local anesthetic jelly is placed into the urethra. The scope is then inserted through the urethra into the bladder. The flexible cystoscope does not require you to lie on your back with your knees up and apart for insertion. The choice of which scope to use depends on the purpose of the exam.
During the procedure, water is inserted through the cystoscope and into your bladder. When the bladder is full of water, it stretches. This allows a view of the entire bladder wall.
If any tissue appears abnormal, a biopsy can be taken through the cystoscope for analysis.
The entire procedure, including preparation, generally takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The examination portion of the procedure is generally less than five minutes.