Cystoscopy/dilatation (female)

What is this?

This procedure involves telescopic inspection of the bladder and urethra with gentle stretching of urethra and, occasionally, bladder biopsy or removal of abnormal areas with the use of heat diathermy

What alternatives are there?

Open surgery, observation, incision of the narrowing.

What to expect before procedure

You will usually be admitted on the same day as your surgery. You will normally receive an appointment for pre-assessment, approximately 14 days before your admission, to assess your general fitness, to screen for the carriage of MRSA and to perform some baseline investigations. After admission, you will be seen by members of the medical team which may include the Consultant, Specialist Registrar, House Officer and your named nurse. You will be asked not to eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery and, immediately before the operation, you may be given a pre-medication by the anaesthetist which will make you dry-mouthed and pleasantly sleepy.

What happens during the procedure?

Either a full general anaesthetic (where you will be asleep throughout the procedure) or a spinal anaesthetic (where you are awake but unable to feel anything from the waist down) will be used. All methods minimise pain; your anaesthetist will explain the pros and cons of each type of anaesthetic to you. You will usually be given injectable antibiotics before the procedure, after checking for any allergies. A telescope is inserted through the water pipe (urethra) to inspect both the urethra itself and the whole lining of the bladder. Dilators are then used to stretch the opening of the urethra gently.

After the procedure

You will normally be allowed home once you have passed urine satisfactorily. If a catheter is left in place, this will normally be removed within 24 hours and you will be discharged once you have passed urine satisfactorily. The average hospital stay is 1 day.

Potential side effects

Common;

Occasional;

Rare;