During a cystoscopy on a female patient, the doctor inserts a cystoscope, a long, flexible, lighted tube, into the urethra, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. He may instill sterile water or saline before he inspects the bladder and possibly collects a urine or tissue sample. He then removes the cystoscope.
Prior to commencement of the procedure, the patient removes her clothing and jewelry, dons a gown, and lies on an examination table on her back with her feet in stirrups, advises Johns Hopkins Medicine. Depending on the situation, the patient may have an intravenous line inserted in her arm through which she may receive sedation or dyes necessary for the procedure. The doctor numbs the opening of the urethra before inserting the cystoscope. He pushes it through the urethra and into the bladder. The doctor may instill saline solution or sterile water to enhance his visualization as he examines the bladder. If necessary, he collects urine or tissue samples before withdrawing the cystoscope.
Depending on the type of anesthetic the patient received, if any, she may spend some time in the recovery room before moving to her hospital room or leaving the facility, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. The doctor normally instructs the patient to drink plenty of fluids, use pain relievers or a warm sitz bath to treat minor discomfort, and possibly take an antibiotic. The patient should notify her physician if she develops a fever, cannot pass urine, notes blood in the urine, or experiences urinary urgency or back pain.