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What is a cystoscopy?

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Cystoscopy uses a cystoscope to look inside of the bladder and urethra, defines WebMD. A cystoscope is a lighted instrument inserted into the urethra to look at the bladder and remove urine and tissue samples. Small bladder stones and certain small growths can also be removed during a cystoscopy.

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A cystoscopy finds the cause of urinary tract issues such as infection, kidney stones, incontinence, blood in the urine and painful urination, explains WebMD. The test is also used to place catheters into the urinary tract for increased urine flow and for an x-ray test called retrograde pyelography. A urologist performs cystoscopy in a testing room in a hospital or doctor’s office, with a general, local or spinal anesthesia. Eating and drinking is prohibited at a directed time before surgery, and the bladder is emptied immediately before the test.

Anesthesia typically reduces much of the pain experienced during a cystoscopy, states WebMD. The cystoscopy is typically safe, and there is no risk of sexual dysfunction afterward. Temporary swelling of the urethra is a typical side effect of the test, and a catheter is inserted into the bladder to drain urine until swelling goes down. It is common for urine to have a pink tinge days after a cystoscopy.

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