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What do I need to know about a cystoscopy?

A cystoscopy is a procedure to examine the inside of your urinary tract using a cystoscope. A cystoscope is a small tube with a light and camera on the end. This procedure is done to diagnose bladder cancer and other urinary tract conditions. It is also done to get tissue for biopsy or to remove small tumors.

How do I prepare for a cystoscopy?

You may need to stop smoking several days before your procedure. Tell your healthcare provider what medicines you take. You will need to stop taking certain medicines such as anticoagulants, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Your healthcare provider will tell you what medicines to take and not to take. He may tell you stop eating after midnight the night before your procedure. Make plans for someone to drive you home after your procedure.

What will happen during a cystoscopy?

  • You may be asked to drink a large amount of liquids before your procedure. You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and pain free during your procedure. Your healthcare provider may instead use local anesthesia that is put into your urethra and bladder. Local anesthesia will numb these areas. You will not feel pain, but you may be able to feel some pressure during your procedure.
  • You will be placed on your back and your feet may be placed in stirrups. The cystoscope will be will be placed into your bladder. Your bladder and urethra will be examined. Your healthcare provider may use special tools to remove tissue and tumors. He may use a special tool to stop bleeding in your bladder.

What are the risks of a cystoscopy?

You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. Swelling caused by the cystoscopy may cause a blockage. Your urine may not flow through your urinary system properly.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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