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Cystoscopy (say "sis-TAW-skuh-pee") is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of your bladder camera.gif and urethra. It's done using a thin, lighted tube called a cystoscope camera.gif.

The doctor inserts this tube into your urethra and on into the bladder. Your doctor can see areas of your bladder and urethra that usually don't show up well on X-rays.

Your doctor can also insert tiny surgical tools through the tube to take samples of tissue (biopsy) or samples of urine.

Small bladder stones camera.gif and some small growths can also be taken out this way. So the test may help keep you from having to go back for surgery.

Why It Is Done

Cystoscopy may be done to:

  • Find the cause of many urinary system problems. Examples include blood in the urine, pain when you urinate, incontinence, frequent urinary tract infections, and blockages in the urinary tract.
  • Remove tissue samples for testing (biopsy).
  • Remove a foreign object.
  • Insert a stent. This helps urine flow from the kidneys to the bladder.
  • Treat certain problems. The test can be used to remove stones or growths, help stop bleeding in the bladder, or remove a blockage.
  • Inject a dye that is used for a special type of X-ray of the ureter and kidney.

How To Prepare

Tell your doctor if you:

The anesthesia used for this test may be local, spinal, or general. So talk to your doctor about which method is best for you. Ask if you should plan on staying overnight in the hospital. If you won't be staying in the hospital, plan to have someone drive you home after the test.

Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking, or your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, use only a sip of water.

Empty your bladder just before the test. You may get medicine to prevent a urinary tract infection that could be caused by the test.

You will be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
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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