Helena Regional Medical Center‘s urologist specializes in cystoscopy, a simple procedure to diagnose, monitor and treat conditions affecting the bladder and urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). We can often perform this short procedure right in the office, with fast results so you can get peace of mind and back to good health.
About the Procedure
During cystoscopy, Helena Regional Medical Center‘s urologist uses a small scope to examine the inside of the bladder and urethra for any abnormalities. The instrument has a tiny lens with a light on the end, allowing for an up-close view on nearby video monitors. Water or saline is also infused through the cystoscope, inflating the bladder to make all areas easier to see.
The procedure may be recommended for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Assessing symptoms: Helps your doctor determine what may be causing problems like blood in the urine, painful urination, incontinence, an overactive bladder or frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Making a diagnosis: Used to identify various bladder diseases, including bladder stones, inflammation or cancer, as well as an enlarged prostate.
- Treating a condition: Special tools can be passed through the cystoscope to perform a number of procedures, including removing small bladder stones or tumors, stopping internal bleeding or injecting medication to treat urinary leakage.
A simple cystoscopy usually only takes five to 10 minutes, performed in the office using a local numbing jelly in the urethra to help prevent any pain. Depending on your specific condition, the procedure may take a little longer and require the operating room, with sedation or general anesthesia options, to keep you as comfortable as possible.
Results are often available right after the procedure, though it may take a few days if your doctor collects tissue (biopsy) for lab testing.
Recovery & Follow-Up Care
Cystoscopy is generally a very safe procedure, and complications rare.
You should be able to go home the same day as your cystoscopy, usually immediately after if a local anesthetic was used. After sedation, patients go to a recovery area for a brief time, where our care team will monitor you as the anesthesia wears off. A friend or family member will need to drive you home, and you will both receive special instructions for at-home care, including any prescriptions.
In the hours following your procedure, you may experience some mild discomfort or side effects, including an increase in urinary frequency, a burning sensation during urination or slight bleeding.
If those issues persist, or you experience any problems, such as severe abdominal pain, chills or fever, call your doctor or seek medical attention right away.
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