Cystoscopy for Women

Cystoscopy is a procedure performed to investigate the ureters, bladder and urethra (urinary system). A cystoscope, a flexible lighted tube, helps identify abnormal changes in the normal smooth pink lining of the bladder and urethra as well as identify tumours, bladder stones, and areas of narrowing, blockage or injury. A cystoscopy may be indicated when there is obstruction in the flow of urine, painful urination, bleeding, incontinence and frequent urinary tract infections. It is also performed to examine the bladder after gynaecological surgery. Certain therapeutic procedures may also be performed during cystoscopy.

Cystoscopy is usually done as an outpatient procedure. You may be required to fast or be on a special diet prior to the procedure. A sedative may be administered to help you relax. You will lie on your back with your knees up and spread. An anaesthetic gel is used to numb the urethra. Your doctor introduces the cystoscope through the urethra and gradually advances it up to the bladder, carefully examining the lining mucosa for abnormalities. Water or saline may be instilled through the cystoscope to expand the bladder, which gives your doctor a better view. The cystoscope may be used to irrigate and suction and instil substances into specific areas. Surgical instruments may be introduced through the cystoscope to remove stones, obtain tissue samples or perform other procedures.

Following the procedure, you may experience some burning and bleeding with urination for which increased fluid intake and a tub bath are recommended. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to make sure you are comfortable.