While advanced imaging has helped us greatly in diagnosing problems on the inside of your body, this technology has its limits. When we need a firsthand look, we can now turn to endoscopy — a specialized scope that features a lighted camera.
At Chicago Center for Women’s Health, when urogynecologist Dr. Denise Molina Furlong and our team need to take a closer look inside your urinary tract, we perform a cystoscopy. Here’s a look at what happens during this quick-and-easy diagnostic procedure.
Why a cystoscopy?
With a cystoscopy, we’re able to take a closer look at the insides of your urethra and bladder. There are many reasons why we may need to do this, including:
Approximately 50% of women have some degree of urinary incontinence for a number of different reasons. If we’re unable to figure out why you’re experiencing involuntary leakage, we may need a closer look at your urinary tract.
Blood in your urine
If you have issues with blood in your urine, we may use a cystoscopy to see if we can identify the problem in your urethra or bladder.
Recurrent urinary tract infections
If you develop frequent urinary tract infections, a cystoscopy can tell us whether the problem stems from an issue inside your urinary tract.
What happens during a cystoscopy
For a diagnostic cystoscopy, we insert the scope inside your urethra and thread it up to your bladder.
Once the instrument is in position, we typically inject saline solution through the small tube to inflate your bladder, making it easier for us to examine the organ.
With the scope, we receive real-time, 3D images on a monitor that we use to guide us.
Once we’re finished, we simply slide the cystoscope out.
After your cystoscopy
In most cases, a cystoscopy is a very quick procedure and you’re free to go home afterward. You may feel some discomfort, and you may also have the urge to urinate more frequently. There even may be some residual blood in your urine, especially if we collected a tissue sample. In most cases, the side effects only last a day or two.
After we analyze our findings, we get back together to discuss the next steps in your treatment plan.
If you have more questions about what to expect during a cystoscopy, please contact us at one of our two locations in Bedford Park or Oak Lawn, Illinois, to set up an appointment.