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A cystoscopy, or urethrocystoscopy, is a medical procedure performed to identify any changes in the urethra and bladder. This exam is simple and quick, and can be performed in the doctor's office under local anesthesia.
Cystoscopy may be recommended by the urologist or gynecologist in order to investigate the cause of blood in the urine, urinary incontinence or infections, for example, in addition to checking for any changes in the bladder. If any irregularity is observed in the bladder or urethra, the doctor may perform a biopsy to complete the diagnosis and begin treatment.
What is it for
Cystoscopy is mainly done to investigate symptoms and identify bladder changes, and may be requested by the doctor to:
- Diagnose tumors in the bladder or urethra;
- Identify urethra or bladder infection;
- Check for the presence of foreign bodies;
- Assess the size of the prostate, in the case of men;
- Identify bladder stones;
- Help in identifying the cause of discomfort when urinating;
- Investigate the cause of blood in the urine;
- Check the cause of urinary incontinence.
During the exam, if any change is found in the bladder or urethra, the doctor can collect part of the tissue and send it to a biopsy for diagnosis and start treatment if necessary. Understand what it is and how the biopsy is performed.
To perform the exam, no preparation is necessary, the person can drink and eat normally, when the procedure is performed with local anesthesia. However, before carrying out the exam, it is important that the person completely empty the bladder, and urine is usually collected for analysis in order to identify infections, for example. See how the urine test is done.
When the patient chooses anesthesia/sedation, an anesthesiologist must be present at the procedure site and fasting for at least 8 hours. It is also recommended that you suspend the use of anticoagulant drugs that you may be using.
How cystoscopy is performed
Cystoscopy is a quick exam, lasting an average of 15 to 20 minutes, and can be done in the doctor's office under local anesthesia. The device used in cystoscopy is called a cystoscope and corresponds to a thin device that has a microcamera at its end and can be flexible or rigid.
The type of cystoscope used varies according to the purpose of the procedure:
- Flexible cystoscope: is used when cystoscopy is performed only to visualize the bladder and urethra, as it allows a better visualization of the urinary structures due to its flexibility;
- Rigid cystoscope: is used when it is necessary to collect material for biopsy or to inject drugs into the bladder.
To perform the exam, the doctor cleans the region and applies an anesthetic gel so that the patient does not feel discomfort during the exam. When the region is no longer sensitive, the doctor inserts the cystoscope and observes the urethra and bladder by viewing the images captured by the microcamera at the end of the device.
During the examination, the doctor may inject saline solution in order to dilate the bladder to visualize it better, or a drug that is absorbed by cancer cells, making them fluorescent, when bladder cancer is suspected, for example. example.
After the exam, the person can return to their normal activities, however it is common that after the effect of anesthesia the region may be a little sore, in addition to being able to observe the presence of blood in the urine and burning sensation when urinating, for example. These symptoms usually pass after 48 hours, however if they are persistent, it is important to report them to the doctor so that the necessary measures can be taken.