Cystoscopy in the Central Coast of California

Cystoscopy is a medical procedure used to visually examine the inside of the urinary bladder and urethra. It involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a light and a camera, called a cystoscope, into the urethra and advancing it into the bladder. The cystoscope
allows the urologist to directly visualize and assess the structures of the urinary tract.

Types of Cystoscopes

There are two main types of cystoscopes:

Flexible Cystoscope

This type of cystoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light at the tip. It is commonly used for diagnostic purposes, such as examining the bladder for abnormalities, collecting tissue samples (biopsy), or removing small bladder stones.

Rigid Cystoscope

A rigid cystoscope is a straight, hollow metal tube with a lens and light source at the end. It provides a larger working channel, allowing the urologist to perform additional procedures, such as the removal of larger stones or the treatment of certain bladder conditions.

During the Cystoscopy Procedure

The patient is usually asked to empty their bladder before the procedure. In some cases, a numbing gel or local anesthesia may be applied to the urethra to minimize discomfort. The cystoscope is gently inserted into the urethra and advanced into the bladder. The urologist carefully navigates the scope through the urinary tract.

As the cystoscope is moved through the urethra and bladder, the camera provides real-time images of the internal structures on a monitor. The urologist can assess the bladder walls, urethra, and other relevant structures for abnormalities, such as tumors, inflammation, stones, or signs of infection.

Depending on the findings during the cystoscopy, additional procedures may be performed. These can include taking tissue samples (biopsies), removing small bladder stones, cauterizing bleeding vessels, or treating bladder conditions like bladder tumors or urethral strictures. Once the necessary assessments or procedures are completed, the cystoscope is carefully removed, and the procedure is considered finished.

Cystoscopy is generally an outpatient procedure that is performed in a urology clinic or hospital setting. It may be done for diagnostic purposes to investigate symptoms such as blood in the urine (hematuria), recurrent urinary tract infections, or bladder dysfunction. Cystoscopy can also be used for therapeutic interventions or to monitor the response to treatment in certain bladder conditions.

As with any medical procedure, there can be some risks or potential complications associated with cystoscopy, such as discomfort, urinary tract infection, bleeding, or injury to the urinary tract. However, these risks are relatively low and are typically outweighed by the diagnostic or therapeutic benefits of the procedure.