Cystoscopy is a procedure that is done to examine the inside of a patient’s bladder. Our gynecologists perform this procedure using a small thin camera inserted into the patient’s urethra and to the bladder. That camera is called a cystoscope. There are two types of cystoscopies; one is called a flexible cystoscope, which uses state-of-the-art fiber optics, which helps the cystoscope bend. The second type of cystoscope is called a rigid cystoscope that does not bend and is straight.
In both types of cystoscopes, the OBGYN doctor can see within the bladder, and she can take pictures that are displayed on a screen, usually next to the patient. If the gynecologist sees an abnormality, she may choose to take a tiny biopsy (sample) of the bladder using another instrument passed through the cystoscope device.
Patients may need to be evaluated by gynecologists in Midtown Manhattan with a cystoscopy when they have symptoms such as recurrent urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, pain with urination, abnormal cells in the urine, or difficulty with emptying their bladder.
Cystoscopy can help the gynecologist know if the patient’s bladder is normal on the inside or if she has a condition contributing to her symptoms. Cystoscopy can also be used to see how the patient is responding to treatment.
How is cystoscopy performed?
Usually, the patient will be awake for the procedure, though some may need a sedative to help with anxiety. It is not usually a painful procedure. The patient will change into a hospital gown, and then the gynecologist’s assistant will prepare the patient for the procedure. The patient will be placed in a lithotomy position (lying down, legs in stirrups), and her urethra will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution which helps prevent infection. Then the patient will receive a local non-painful anesthetic jelly placed directly into the urethra. This jelly helps smooth the insertion of the cystoscope through the urethra.
Cystoscopies can be performed while the patient is awake or sleeping
The gynecologists in Manhattan are now ready for the procedure. They will ask the patient to take a deep breath and then insert the cystoscope through the patient’s urethra and then to the bladder. The bladder is then filled up with sterile water so that the lining can be inspected. They will then carefully inspect all aspects of the inside of the patient’s bladder, looking for any abnormalities and taking pictures.
The patient may feel the discomfort of her bladder filling, which is normal. If there is an abnormality, the gynecologist may take a small sample and send it for evaluation under a microscope; this is called a biopsy. Once she has completed the examination, the cystoscope will be removed from the patient’s bladder and urethra.
The whole cystoscopy procedure will take about 5-10 minutes. After the procedure is done, the gynecologist will explain what she found on her exam. Then the patient can relieve herself in the restroom.
Under certain conditions, the gynecologist Dr. Mariz may recommend a general anesthetic to perform the cystoscopy procedure.
What are the expected side effects or complications with cystoscopy?
Most cystoscopies are done without any problem, but, as with any procedure, it is invasive. After the procedure, many patients will report a mild burning, especially during urination, and an increased sense of urgency to urinate. Usually, this feeling will pass after one day. Patients may also notice that their urine looks pinkish with a small amount of blood in it. This is normal, especially if the gynecologist took a sample of the lining.
Less commonly, the patient will develop a urinary tract infection after the procedure, which can cause pain with urination and or fevers. It is important to call the gynecologist right away to prescribe the appropriate antibiotics if this should happen.
With the advent of minimally invasive procedures, we can now use tiny cameras to see exactly what is happening inside the bladder without surgery.
Most uncommonly, the cystoscope can cause an injury or hole in the bladder if this should happen. Depending on the location of the injury, the patient may need to have a catheter placed in the bladder for a few days until the injury heals.
The patient should let the gynecologist know immediately if she is experiencing any severe pain or bleeding, if she has symptoms of a urinary tract infection, or if she sees that she continues to bleed for longer than two days after the procedure.
Have questions about Cystoscopy Procedure in NYC? Visit the gynecology center in Midtown or on the Upper East Side to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fernando Mariz.
New York City Locations:
Manhattan Women's Health & Wellness (Upper East Side)
983 Park Ave, Ste 1D17
New York, NY 10028
Manhattan Women's Health & Wellness (Midtown)
51 East 25th St, Ste 451
New York, NY 10010
Manhattan Women's Health & Wellness (Union Square)
55 W 17th St, Ste 104
New York, NY 10011