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Cystoscopy

Cystoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of the bladder camera.gif and the urethra using a thin, lighted instrument called a cystoscope camera.gif.

The cystoscope is inserted into your urethra and slowly advanced into the bladder. Cystoscopy allows your doctor to look at areas of your bladder and urethra that usually do not show up well on X-rays. Tiny surgical instruments can be inserted through the cystoscope that allow your doctor to remove samples of tissue (biopsy) or samples of urine.

Small bladder stones camera.gif and some small growths can be removed during cystoscopy. This may eliminate the need for more extensive surgery.

Why It Is Done

Cystoscopy may be done to:

  • Find the cause of symptoms such as blood in the urine (hematuria), painful urination (dysuria), urinary incontinence, urinary frequency or hesitancy, an inability to pass urine (retention), or a sudden and overwhelming need to urinate (urgency).
  • Find the cause of problems of the urinary tract, such as frequent, repeated urinary tract infections or urinary tract infections that do not respond to treatment.
  • Look for problems in the urinary tract, such as blockage in the urethra caused by an enlarged prostate, kidney stones camera.gif, or tumors.
  • Evaluate problems that cannot be seen on X-ray or to further investigate problems detected by ultrasound or during intravenous pyelography, such as kidney stones or tumors.
  • Remove tissue samples for biopsy.
  • Remove foreign objects.
  • Place ureteral catheters (stents) to help urine flow from the kidneys to the bladder.
  • Treat urinary tract problems. For example, cystoscopy can be done to remove urinary tract stones or growths, treat bleeding in the bladder, relieve blockages in the urethra, or treat or remove tumors.
  • Place a catheter in the ureter for an X-ray test called retrograde pyelography. A dye that shows up on an X-ray picture is injected through the catheter to fill and outline the ureter and the inside of the kidney.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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