ZocdocAnswersHow does a cystoscopy work?

Question

How does a cystoscopy work?

I recently had a urinalysis done, after which my doctor said he found blood in my urine. He wants to do a cystoscopy. How will this test work? Is it painful? What can we learn from it?

Answer

Understandably, if the procedure was not explained to you before your doctor scheduled it, then you will be worried about what it entails. A cystoscopy is a procedure in which the goal is to visualize in detail the interior of the bladder. It is used when a doctor feels that there is something going on in the bladder which cannot be determined through urinalysis, blood work, or other imaging such as an ultrasound or CT scan. The type of physician that typically does a cystoscopy is a urologist. Blood in the urine is not all that uncommon. If you are a woman, then blood in the urine usually means you have a urinary tract infection. When a urinary tract infection is diagnosed and there is blood in the urine, a cystoscopy is not usually done because the source of the blood is assumed to be the infection. In your case, your doctor must feel that the bladder is the likely location, and a simple infection is not the cause. I suggest that you contact the urologist that will be performing the cystoscopy so that you can get more details about the procedure and what findings might be found. This way, you can go into the procedure knowing what to expect, and what can reasonably be learned about what is going on with your bladder. Good luck.

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