|Your doctor has recommended that you undergo a Cystoscopy. But what does that actually mean?
The lower urinary tract allows your body to store and release urine.
It's made up of two parts, the bladder and the urethra.
Your bladder is a hollow organ that expands as it fills with urine. Because it is made of muscular tissue, it can also contract and force urine to pass out of the body, through the urethra. Your urethra carries urine from the bladder all the way through the opening in the penis.
Your doctor feels that it is necessary to examine the interior of the urethra and bladder, to try to determine the cause of a problem that you may be having.
Symptoms that may call for a routine Cystoscopy include:
* Persistent infection of the urinary tract
* Bladder stones
* Bleeding while urinating
* Irritation due to polyps, or
* Changes to the bladder caused by cancer.
Cystoscopy is a simple procedure during which your doctor will insert a well-lubricated, instrument called a cystoscope through your urethra and into your bladder.
The cystoscope allows your doctor to visually inspect the interior of your bladder. It also allows your doctor to remove small pieces of tissue for later examination and even to crush small bladder stones, should any be present.
Any tissue that your doctor removes from your bladder will be sent immediately to a laboratory for analysis. Your doctor will ask the laboratory to check for any sign of cancer or other abnormality.
So make sure that you ask your doctor to carefully explain the reasons behind this recommendation.
Your doctor will then lift your penis upward.
A well-lubricated cystoscope is gently inserted into the urethra, the opening at the head of the penis, and slowly guided inward.
When the cystoscope reaches the back of the penis, your doctor will pull the penis downward in order to create a straight path into the bladder.
Once the cystoscope is inside the bladder, your doctor will inject a small amount of water through the cystoscope and into the bladder.
The water serves to expand the bladder, helping your doctor to better examine the interior. It also helps by washing away any blood or remaining urine.
You may feel a sense of fullness as though you need to urinate. You'll be encouraged to relax and not to try to retain the water in your bladder.
As the team completes it's inspection, they'll be looking for suspicious tissues. If they find bladder stones, your doctor may try to crush these so that they can pass out of the bladder during normal urination.
If the team finds a suspicious growth they will use a special grasping tool to take a sample of tissue in order to send to a laboratory for analysis.
When the inspection is complete, your doctor will remove the cystoscope and you'll be asked to empty your bladder.
Your doctor will probably ask you to wear a temporary Foley catheter.
A Foley catheter is a narrow tube inserted through your urethra and into your bladder. The catheter is connected to a bag that is attached to your leg by a strap. While the Foley catheter is in place, urine will pass from your bladder into the bag. You will not need to urinate into a toilet.
The nurse will show you how to change the bag when it is full. An appointment will be made for you to return to the doctor's office in a couple of days to have the catheter removed.
As soon as the anesthesia wears off and you feel comfortable, you'll be allowed to leave.
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