Cystoscopy is a procedure in which a thin instrument with a light at the tip (a cystoscope) is inserted into the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body). The cytoscope enables examination of the inner surfaces of the urinary tract, specifically the bladder and urethra. Some cystoscopes use optical fibres to carry images from the tip to a viewing device. Many cystoscopes have extra tubes to guide instruments for procedures to treat urinary problems. Cystoscopy may be carried out for a range of urinary tract problems, including such things as frequent urinary tract infections; blood in the urine (haematuria); loss of bladder control (incontinence); urinary blockage or narrowing of the urinary tract; an unusual growth, polyp or tumour; and a stone in the urinary tract. For cystoscopy, the patient is conscious. A sterile liquid will flow through the cystoscope to fill and stretch the bladder to enable a better view of the bladder wall. As the bladder fills, you may feel some discomfort and the urge to urinate. The type of cystoscopy you’ll have depends on the reason for your procedure. Generally, the procedure takes 15 to 20 minutes.
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