Q:

How painful is a cystoscopy?

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Quick Answer

A cystoscopy is generally painless because the patient is given general or local anesthesia to numb the area around the urethra, according to Healthline. During the procedure, the patient might feel the urge to urinate or a burning sensation in the bladder.

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Full Answer

A cystoscopy is a short outpatient procedure that is done to determine the health of the bladder or urethra, states Mayo Clinic. The doctor inserts a cystoscope into the urethra and puts a sterile solution into the bladder. The procedure can be used in conjunction with other tests to diagnose urinary tract diseases. Cystoscopy is considered to be safe but does have some risks, such as infection or bleeding from the urethra.

According to Healthline, cystoscopy is ordered by a doctor to evaluate symptoms like blood in the urine, painful urination, pelvic pain, overactive bladder, and/or frequent occurrence of urinary tract infection. The procedure can reveal the possible causes of the urinary problem, such as tumors, malignant growths and stones. It can also help confirm suspicions of blockages, problems with ureters and enlarged prostrates in males.

If an epidural anesthetic is used, there may be some discomfort when the anesthesiologist inserts a needle into the back, notes NHS Choices. General anesthesia is administered via an IV in the arm, so there may be some slight discomfort while the IV is inserted.

Following a cystoscopy, it is not unusual to experience a burning sensation while urinating, reports Mayo Clinic. Some people also have some bleeding from the urethra following this procedure. Drinking plenty of water, taking warm baths and applying a warm washcloth to the urethral opening can relieve discomfort.

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