What is a cystoscopy?
A cystoscopy is a test which uses a special camera to look inside the bladder and urine tract.
How is a cystoscopy camera test performed?
The test is usually performed with you awake; a sedative can be given if necessary. A lubricant gel is then placed at the entrance of the urethra (wee tube), and a thin flexible telescope then passed up the urethra into the bladder. The procedure takes about 10 minutes to perform. Whilst the specialist looks into the bladder, they can also perform small procedures such as taking tissue samples (biopsies) from the bladder.
Why would I need a cystoscopy camera test?
By looking into the bladder the specialist may be able to diagnose what is causing your urinary problems. A biopsy may also be taken to be sent to a lab for diagnosis. You may have had symptoms such as pain, bleeding, infections or other urine problems. Cystoscopies are also regularly performed to check for any signs of recurrence after bladder cancers have been removed.
Are there any risks of a bladder camera test?
A cystoscopy is a relatively routine and risk-free procedure, although complications can occasionally occur:
Infection - a urine tract infection (UTI) may require antibiotics for treatment
Bleeding - it is common to have a small amount of blood in the urine after the procedure, especially if a biopsy has been taken
Stricture - urethral scarring can occasionally result from a cystoscopy, especially after a number of them have been performed. This may need further surgery
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This list of risks is not exhaustive, and you should discuss possible complications with your specialist. Whilst these risks will seem very worrysome, and indeed can be serious, it should also be borne in mind that many people have no postoperative problems whatsoever.
The information provided is for guidance only and you should discuss matters fully with your specialist before deciding if this is the right procedure for you. Please also read our disclaimer