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Flexible cystoscopy

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What is flexible cystoscopy?

A cystoscopy is an internal inspection of the bladder. It involves passing a small tube containing a miniature telescope along the urethra into the bladder. The urethra is the tube from your bladder through which urine drains.

It is called flexible cystoscopy because the tube passed into the urethra can bend easily and freely. This allows it to be passed with minimal discomfort using local anaesthetic gel and does not require a general anaesthetic. The procedure is performed with the patient lying flat in a comfortable position.

    Why do I need a cystoscopy?

    To investigate the cause of your bladder problem. You may well have undergone a number of tests and often the cause will be apparent from scans, blood and urine tests, but we often need to thoroughly test and look at the bladder itself.

      What preparation do I need?

      No special preparations are required. You can eat and drink normally, however you will be asked to provide a urine sample on arrival so please attend with a comfortable full bladder You can leave the department shortly after the procedure.

        What happens on the day?

        Just before your procedure is due you will be asked to change into a hospital gown. Once you are in the procedure room, the healthcare professional will explain the entire procedure and you will be asked to sign a form to agree to the test.

        Please inform the healthcare professional undertaking the procedure if you have:

        • A coronary artery stent
        • An artificial heart valve
        • A heart pacemaker or defibrillator
        • A regular prescription for warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel
        • Please also let us know if you have any allergies.

          What happens if I am having the procedure at the haematuria clinic?

          You will have an ultrasound scan of your bladder and kidneys, if you are attending the Haematuria clinic, then you will be asked for a urine sample and you will be seen and examined by a healthcare professional.

            What happens during the procedure?

            The healthcare professional will clean the area first and then instill an anaesthetic jelly into the urethra which will act as a lubricant as well as a local anesthetic. The surrounding area will be covered with a sterile paper sheet and sterile towels.

            The healthcare professional will introduce the cystoscope into the urethra and then carefully pass it into the bladder. The area of the sphincter may be slightly sensitive and the healthcare professional may ask you to take a deep breath or to try and pass water, both of which help the sphincter to relax.

            Once inside the bladder the healthcare professional can control the tip of the cystoscope to allow him to look around the bladder. To help him do this fluid is run through the cystoscope to stretch out any folds in the bladder lining; so it is normal to feel that the bladder is full towards the end of the procedure.

            Once the procedure is completed we will direct you to the toilet where you will need to empty your bladder.

              When will I get the results?

              Once the procedure is completed you will be given the results. If further investigation is required you will be fully informed by the healthcare professional as well as the health care processional just before you leave the department. You will also be given a copy of the report and your GP will receive the same copy.

                What can I expect after the procedure?

                Most patients have no problems at all following a flexible cystoscopy. There may be some mild burning discomfort on passing urine for a day or two and a little bleeding is not uncommon. Normally you will not be given antibiotics unless the doctor suspects you have, or are at particular risk of developing an infection, but nevertheless a urine infection can occur.

                You should drink plenty of fluids, but if temperature, pain, persistent burning or bleeding occurs you should contact your general practitioner. Occasionally passing water may become difficult following the procedure and if this does occur or you have any other problems or need advice on the day of the procedure, please phone your consultants secretary or the ward.

                  Useful telephone numbers

                  The Princess Royal Hospital, Ansty ward 01444 441881 Extension 68240 / 68241.

                  The Urology Nursing Team 01444 441881 Extension 65457.

                  Urology Consultants:

                  Mr Nawrocki’s secretary 01444 441881 Extension 65962

                  Mr Coker’s secretary 01444 441881 Extension 68043.

                  Mr Crawford’s secretary 01444 441881 Extension 65962.

                  Mr Symes’ secretary 01273 696955 Extension 67809.

                  Mr Larner’s secretary 01273 696955 Extension 67808.

                  Mr Alanbuki’s secretary 01273 696955 Extension 67810.

                  Mr Zakikhani’s secretary 01273 696955 Extension 67809.

                    This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.

                    The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

                    Publication Date: September 2021

                    Review Date: June 2024

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