Cystoscopy, also known as cystourethroscopy, is a medical procedure that utilizes a long, thin tube inserted into the urethra, or the tube that carries urine from the bladder outside of the body. Cystoscopy is performed through this tool, called a cystoscope, with a lens attached to one end so that the physician can examine the inside of the urethra and bladder. The cystoscope may be rigid or semi rigid and flexible, depending on need. Cystoscopy can be performed on males and females, though the approach is naturally different. In females the cystoscope is inserted into the urethra, just above the vaginal opening, while in males, the cystoscope is inserted into the urethra through the penis.
Benefits of Cystoscopy
A cystoscopy maybe perform for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to diagnosing urinary tract infections, conditions and disease is, as well as abnormal conditions of the bladder. Cystoscopy is often utilized to help diagnose enlarged prostate glands in males. Other reasons for a cystoscopy may include but are not limited to:
In most cases, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics prior to and following a cystoscopy, depending on the reason for the procedure, to help prevent infection in those who already have active urinary tract infections or in individuals with lowered immune defense systems.
In most cases, a general anesthetic or intravenous sedative may be offered, as may a spinal anesthetic to numb the lower half of the body, so patients are advised to have someone available to drive them home or back to their lodgings following the procedure.
Cystoscopy is generally performed on an outpatient basis, following a general numbing of the area where the cystoscope is inserted. A cystoscopy may also be performed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia, depending on need.
The patient will be asked to lie on his or her back, and may be required to place the feet in stirrups. A numbing gel is typically applied to the urethra so the patient doesn't feel severe discomfort when the cystoscope is inserted. Be assured that the physician will choose the smallest or narrowest cystoscope for the procedure as possible. Larger cystoscopes may be required in order to take tissue samples or for procedures requiring surgical tools that may be inserted through the urethra for minimally invasive procedures.
The urologist will look through the lens at one end of the cystoscope as the tool advances through the urethra toward the bladder. Images in the lens serve to magnify the surfaces being examined. The doctor may also choose to view the images on a video screen through the use of imagery technologies attached to the end of the cystoscope.
Once the urologist passes the cystoscope through the urethra to the bladder, reaches the bladder, he or she may infuse the bladder with sterile solution which helps to inflate the bladder for better viewing. The doctor may also opt to take tissue samples at this time.
In most cases, a cystoscopy may be performed in about 5 to 10 minutes under local anesthesia, while those who have been sedated and a general anesthesia you may expect to spend between 10 to 30 minutes undergoing the procedure.
What Does Cystoscopy Cost?
In the United States, the general cost of a cystoscopy ranges around $3,000, sometimes less. The procedure may cost more depending on the type of anesthesia used and the location; whether in the doctor's office, an outpatient surgical facility, or a hospital environment. Costs are generally cheaper in foreign destinations such as Mexico, South America, and Singapore and Thailand, due to different healthcare delivery systems and less need for massive amounts of malpractice insurance.
Who Performs A Cystoscopy?
A cystoscopy is performed by a urologist. A urologist is a doctor who has specialized in training in branches of surgery to the kidneys, bladder, or urethra, male reproductive organs or pelvic surgery. Choose a surgeon who has undergone basic and comprehensive education in general surgery, who then undergoes additional training in urology, a surgical subspecialty. Individuals should be certified and experienced in cystoscopy procedures. He or she should be approved to practice in accredited healthcare facilities or hospitals. Specialists should be experienced and knowledgeable regarding specific conditions.
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