A Cystoscope is a thin tube with a camera and light on the end. During a cystoscopy, this tube is inserted through your urethra and into your bladder so the doctor can visualize the inside of your bladder. Your urethra is the tube that carries urine out of your bladder. Magnified images from the camera are displayed on a screen where your doctor can see them. Cystoscopy is used to diagnose, monitor and treat conditions affecting the bladder and urethra. It can also help determine the cause of frequent urinary tract infections. Examples include bladder cancer, bladder stones, bladder tumor and bladder inflammation (cystitis). Cystoscopy may be done in a testing room, using a local anesthetic jelly to numb your urethra. Or it may be done as an outpatient procedure, with sedation. Another option is to have cystoscopy in the hospital using general anesthesia. Some 'jelly' is then squirted into the opening of the urethra. The jelly usually contains a local anesthetic to numb the lining of the urethra. This helps the Cystoscope to pass into the urethra with as little discomfort as possible. The urologist will then gently push the Cystoscope up into the bladder. The doctor will look carefully at the lining of the urethra and bladder. Sterile water is passed down a side channel in the Cystoscope to fill your bladder slowly. This makes it easier for the doctor to see the lining of the bladder. As your bladder fills you will feel the urge to pass urine, which may be uncomfortable.
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