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What Is Rigid Cystoscopy?

Rigid cystoscopy is a medical procedure where a doctor examines the bladder using a rigid scope. This tool provides clear images, aiding in accurate diagnoses of urinary issues. It's a crucial step for those experiencing symptoms like blood in urine or frequent infections. Intrigued by how this procedure could impact your health? Discover its benefits and what to expect during the process.
Valerie Goldberg
Valerie Goldberg

A cystoscopy is a procedure that allows a urologist to look at a patient's lower urinary tract. This procedure is performed using a cystoscope, a tube-like medical device with a camera on the end. Doctors can perform this procedure using a flexible cystoscope or a rigid cystoscope. During a rigid cystoscopy, a doctor also can take a biopsy, if necessary, which is not an option during a flexible cystoscopy. A rigid cystoscopy can be a little more painful and invasive, so it is always performed under general anesthesia.

Doctors have the ability to view and examine the urethra and bladder during this type of cystoscopy. This procedure may be necessary to help diagnose patients with chronic pelvic pain, to check for bladder cancer, to evaluate chronic bladder infections or to look for urethral abnormalities in patients who have trouble urinating or often have blood in their urine. Many patients can have this procedure done as an outpatient surgery. When a biopsy is done, a doctor may recommend a one-night stay in the hospital.

A rigid cystoscope may be used to examine a patient's lower urinary tract.
A rigid cystoscope may be used to examine a patient's lower urinary tract.

When a patient is being prepared for this procedure, he or she will lie on his or her back with the legs spread wide and the knees raised. This position is similar to the way a woman is examined at a gynecologist's office. Once the patient is put under anesthesia, it typically takes a doctor only about 30 minutes to do the procedure.

A patient may feel groggy and tired after a rigid cystoscopy. Patients should bring a friend or family member to drive them home. Pain or burning with urination for a day or two after the procedure is to be expected. Most doctors will prescribe pain killers for a patient to use during recovery.

Patients should drink plenty of fluids following a rigid cystoscopy procedure.
Patients should drink plenty of fluids following a rigid cystoscopy procedure.

There aren't any major risk factors or side effects that go along with this type of cystoscopy. Some patients may have a small amount of blood in their urine if a biopsy was performed. This should only be temporary. It also is possible to get a urinary tract infection (UTI) as a complication of a cystoscopy. If a patient is prone to getting UTIs, a doctor may send the patient home with an antibiotic as a preventive measure.

Women may want to take a warm bath following a rigid cystoscopy.
Women may want to take a warm bath following a rigid cystoscopy.

It is recommended that patients drink a lot of fluids after this procedure to help get their urinary flow back to normal. Females also may want to take a warm bath or hold a heating pad to their vaginal area if they are experiencing urethral pain. If a biopsy was performed, a doctor will set a follow-up appointment to go over test results.

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    • A rigid cystoscope may be used to examine a patient's lower urinary tract.
      By: stockpackshot
      A rigid cystoscope may be used to examine a patient's lower urinary tract.
    • Patients should drink plenty of fluids following a rigid cystoscopy procedure.
      By: Yuriy Shevtsov
      Patients should drink plenty of fluids following a rigid cystoscopy procedure.
    • Women may want to take a warm bath following a rigid cystoscopy.
      By: olly
      Women may want to take a warm bath following a rigid cystoscopy.
    • Patients may experience blood in their urine following a rigid cystoscopy.
      By: Max Tactic
      Patients may experience blood in their urine following a rigid cystoscopy.
    • An instrument is inserted into the urethra during a cystoscopy.
      By: Alila Medical Media
      An instrument is inserted into the urethra during a cystoscopy.
    • Rigid cytoscopy is always performed under general anesthesia.
      By: Andres Rodriguez
      Rigid cytoscopy is always performed under general anesthesia.