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What is cystoscopy and why is it done?
Cystoscopy is a visual examination of the bladder and urethra performed with a small telescope (approx. 3mm in diameter) is used. Typical problems investigated with cystoscopy and hydrodilatation (see below) include recurrent bleeding, recurrent cystitis or painful bladder syndrome. The cystoscopy is performed to diagnose the cause and type of bladder problem, grade its severity and rule out serious causes for your symptoms. The procedure takes approximately 15 minutes.
What is hydrodilatation and why is it done?
When the bladder appears to be normal, but irritable bladder symptoms have been troubling you, evaluation of the bladders capacity (hydrodilatation) is useful. This procedure, whereby water is used to fill the bladder to its capacity on two occasions, often reveals inflammatory changes in the bladder and sometimes an ulcerative form of inflammation. Biopsy of the bladder after this procedure further helps to characterise the nature of the inflammation. Drugs can also be administered directly into the bladder at the time of cystoscopy.
The cystoscopy and hydrodilatation may diminish day and night time urinary frequency and pain. This response is of variable duration and sometimes an improvement only lasts a week or so. Thus, hydrodilatation is a useful diagnostic procedure which may be of therapeutic value but a cure is not expected.
What can I expect afterwards?
A slight amount of blood may be passed after the procedure particularly if a biopsy was taken. All new symptoms are short lived (less than 3 weeks).
Immediately after the procedure, bladder discomfort can be quite intense and pain killers will be organised for you to take home. Within a short time (a few days) any bleeding or discomfort typically settles. It is rare to have an exacerbation in bladder pain after this procedure, but it has occurred.