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Cystoscopy

How To Prepare

Tell your doctor if you:

  • Are allergic to any medicines, including anesthetics.
  • Have had bleeding problems or take blood-thinning medicine, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Are or might be pregnant.

Cystoscopy can be performed with local, spinal, or general anesthesia. Discuss with your doctor which method is best for you and whether you should plan on staying overnight in the hospital. If you will not be staying in the hospital, arrange for someone to 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 has instructed you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, please do so using only a sip of water.

You should empty your bladder just before the test. You may be given 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?).

How It Is Done

Cystoscopy is performed by a urologist, with one or more assistants. The test is done in a special testing room in a hospital or the doctor's office.

You will need to take off all or most of your clothes, and you will be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the test.

About an hour before the test, you may be given a sedative to help you relax. An intravenous (IV) needle may be placed in a vein in your arm to give you other medicines and fluids. You will lie on your back on a special table with your knees bent, legs apart, and your feet or thighs may be supported by stirrups. Your genital area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, and your abdomen and thighs are covered with sterile cloths.

If a local anesthetic is used, the anesthetic solution or jelly is inserted in your urethra.

If a general anesthetic is used, you will be put to sleep either with a medicine given through an IV or by inhaling gases through a mask, or both methods may be used.

If a spinal anesthetic is used, the area on the back where the needle will be inserted is first numbed with a local anesthetic, then the needle is guided into the spinal canal and the anesthetic is injected. A spinal anesthetic may prevent movement of the legs until the anesthetic wears off.

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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