A cystoscopy is performed by a doctor inserting a hollow tube and lens into the urethra, and slowly advancing into the bladder, which lets him examine the lining of both. The procedure may be performed in a testing room, as an outpatient procedure or in a hospital, according to Mayo Clinic. Local anaesthesia, sedation or general anaesthesia is used.
A cystoscopy takes between five and 30 minutes to complete, depending on where it is being performed and what type of anaesthesia is used, states Mayo Clinic. During the procedure, the doctor may take tissue samples for laboratory testing. Doctors use smaller scopes to look for causes of signs and symptoms, but larger scopes may be necessary to take tissue samples or pass surgical tools into the bladder.
A cystoscopy is generally a same-day procedure. Patients who receive sedation or general anaesthesia may need to remain in a recovery area until the effects wear off, but then they can leave. Some side effects of the procedure may be bleeding, a burning sensation during urination and frequent urination, reports Mayo Clinic. To reduce irritation, patients are advised to drink 16 ounces of water each hour, for the first two hours after the cystoscopy.