A cystoscope is a surgical instrument used to observe the inside of the bladder, which is like a "big house". It is similar in thickness to a "2B" pencil and has a straight slender rod. The cystoscope can transmit the internal layout of the bladder to a computer screen through its own optical fiber bundle to help urologists diagnose and treat patients. In addition, the cystoscope also has the "magical effect" of a magnifying glass, which can magnify the structure inside the bladder by more than five times. Even small lesions can be seen clearly under its "keen eyes".
If patients experience frequent urination, painful urination, blood in the urine, or sudden interruption of urination during half of the process, urologists may perform cystoscope bridge to see if there are any diseases, such as cystitis, bladder tumors, or bladder stones.
For example, if there is a ureteral stone or tumor blocking the ureter, which is like a "downstairs pipe", a thin urinary stent can be placed under cystoscope bridge to help drain the urine above the "downstairs pipe".
If there is a small amount of bleeding or a small tumor in the bladder, it can be treated with a cystoscope electric coagulation device. If there is a bladder stone, it can be crushed with a lithotriptor and flushed out. If there is a small foreign body in the bladder, a cystoscope specialized "small pliers" can be used to remove it, and so on.
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Cystoscopy is often performed in an outpatient setting. Before the procedure, the patient must empty their bladder and then lie on the examination table with their legs up and apart (called the lithotomy position). The doctor will inject a liquid or gel-like local anesthesia into the urethra before performing the examination, which usually takes 5-10 minutes. In developed countries, general anesthesia may also be used to avoid discomfort.
Cystoscopy involves inserting a long, rigid metal scope (more commonly used) or a flexible scope into the bladder through the urethra. During the examination, fluid (physiological saline) is injected to expand the bladder for better visibility.
Cystoscope bridge is an invasive examination that may cause some discomfort or pain. Men tend to experience more pain than women due to the longer urethra. The urologist will inject some local anesthesia into the urethra to reduce pain and provide lubrication for smoother operation.
The normal bladder wall should be smooth, within a normal range of capacity, shape, and position, and there should be no obstruction. The doctor will also check the ureteric orifices for abnormalities or bleeding. Any abnormal mucosal surface will be biopsied for pathological examination. Sometimes, the doctor may insert a thin tube (catheter) into the ureteric orifices and collect urine or inject a contrast agent (retrograde pyelography).
After the procedure, the patient may experience soreness or burning in the urethra and may have blood in their urine for 48 hours, which usually disappears in half a day to a day with increased water intake. If the pain persists or the patient develops fever or heavy bleeding, they should notify their doctor promptly.