Cystoscopy and Ureteroscopy

A cystocope views inside your bladder and urethra when treating a urinary problem such as urinary tract infections or blood in your urine, incontinence, painful urination, prostate enlargement, stone in urinary tract, unusual growth, polyp, tumor or cancer.

The cystoscope has lenses like a telescope or microscope that let the doctor focus on the inner surfaces of the urinary tract and carries an image from the tip of the instrument to a viewing piece at the other end.

A cystoscope is used to see inside the bladder and urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The cystoscope has lenses like a telescope or microscope. These lenses allow visualization of the inner surfaces of the urinary tract. Some cystoscopes use optical fibers (flexible glass fibers) that carry an image from the tip of the instrument to a viewing piece at the other end. The cystoscope is as thin as a pencil and has a light at the tip. Many cystoscopes have extra tubes to guide other instruments for procedures to treat urinary problems.

Indications of cystoscopy include:

  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Blood in your urine (hematuria)
  • Loss of bladder control (incontinence) or overactive bladder
  • Unusual cells found in urine sample
  • Need for a bladder catheter
  • Painful urination, chronic pelvic pain, or interstitial cystitis
  • Urinary blockage such as prostate enlargement, stricture, or narrowing of the urinary tract
  • Stone in the urinary tract
  • Unusual growth, polyp, tumor, or cancer

If a stone is lodged higher in the urinary tract, the cystoscope may be extended through the bladder and up into the ureter. The ureter is the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. When used to view the ureters, the cystoscope is called an ureteroscope.

The stone can then be seen and removed with a small basket at the end of a wire inserted through an extra tube in the ureteroscope. The extra tube in the cystoscope may also be used to extend a flexible fiber that carries a laser beam to break the stone into smaller pieces that can then pass out of the body in urine. There are generally two types of cystoscopes: Rigid and semirigid cystoscopes.

A urine sample is taken before the test to check for infection. Avoid urinating for an hour before this part of the test.

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