What Is Cystoscopy?

Cystoscopy is a relatively painless routine examination of your bladder. By using a cystoscope, a special flexible telescope-like instrument with a powerful light, the doctor can see inside the bladder. The cystoscope is designed to pass easily through both female and make urethras. Women have a shorter urethra than men do, and therefore cystoscopy is somewhat easier for them. Sterile fluid expands the bladder like a balloon, aiding physical observation during cystocopy.

How Do I Prepare?

  • Taking aspirin, ibuprofen or other blood thinners (i.e., coumadin) may cause unnecessary bleeding after the cystoscopy; this does not apply to acetaminophen (Tylenol). Please inform the doctor if you take such medicines, as you may need to avoid taking them for a period of time to be determined by the doctor both before and after the cystoscopy.
  • It is preferable that you eat a light meal on the day of the cystoscopy.
  • To further reduce chances of infection, the doctor will give you an antibiotic here to be taken after the cystoscopy.
  • If the doctor has prescribed a sedative prior to the procedure, then take it as directed.
  • The medical assistant will ask you to empty your bladder just prior to the procedure.
  • Relax - You're in good hands!

What Happens During Cystoscopy?

  • You will be asked to lie on your back on the cystoscopy table covered with a drape, either flat (if you are a man) or with your knees elevated and legs apart (if you are a woman).
  • The doctor and a medical assistant will be with you.
  • The urethra and surrounding areas are washed and covered with towels.
  • Anesthetic jelly is applied to the urethra.
  • The cystoscope is inserted. Sterile fluid flows through the cystoscope into the bladder, which expands, allowing the doctor to study specific areas of the urethra and bladder closely. Inspection rarely lasts longer than five or ten minutes.
  • Should removal of a ureteral stent be required, it is gently grasped with a tiny forceps device introduced through the cystocope—you will not feel this.
  • After observation, the cystoscope is removed. You may want to empty your bladder after you've finished dressing.

What Should I Do and Might I Expect Afterward?

  • If you have been sedated, have someone drive you home.
  • The doctor will give you an antibiotic sample to be taken before leaving the office.
  • Avoid using blood thinners such as aspirin until the doctor states it is safe to do so.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water.
  • It is normal to experience burning on urination for 24 hours after the cystoscopy. Urinating into a warm bath may alleviate the discomfort.
  • You may have temporary bleeding or burning on urination. There are over-the-counter remedies (Azostandard or Uristat) available for the burning sensation should this continue for more than a day or two.

Under What Circumstances Should I Call the Doctor?

  • If your temperature rises above 101°F.
  • If you have nausea, vomiting or shaking chills.
  • If you are unable to urinate when you feel that your bladder is full.
  • If you develop a reaction to your medication such as skin rash, nausea or vomiting.
  • If bleeding or burning on urination persists despite hydration and medication.

When Will I Be Informed of the Results?

Cystoscopy results are available immediately and the doctor will discuss these with you. If you are sedated, or if you require ongoing treatment, you may be informed of results over the telephone or during a future appointment.

Consent for Cystoscopy

I, ________________________________ (the patient) consent to the placement of a fiber-optic instrument through my urethra into my bladder for diagnostic purposes. If the doctor has previously placed a tube ("stent" from a previous surgery) up into my kidney, he may elect to remove it at this time, and I give him my consent.

The doctor has given a full and reasonable medical explanation of this procedure to me. The risks and complications of the procedure (possible bleeding or infection) have been explained to me, and I was afforded the opportunity to ask any questions. Informed consent is hereby given to the performance of this procedure.

Signature: ______________________________

Date: ______________________________

Commonwealth Urology

3020 Hamaker Court, Suite B-111
Fairfax, Virginia 22031-2220
Tel: 703.876.0288
Fax: 703.876.0290
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