Problems with your urinary tract can not only be painful and inconvenient, they can take away from your quality of life. If you’re having problems with your urinary tract, your urologist may suggest doing a urologic endoscopy to help diagnose the problem.
Urologic endoscopies come in two forms:
- Cystoscopy – For this procedure, the doctor uses a camera attached to a long tube to look at the urethra and bladder.
- Ureteroscopy – For this procedure, the doctor uses a camera attached to an even longer tube to look at the kidneys and ureters—the tubes that connect your kidneys to your bladder.
These are short procedures, usually lasting under one hour.
Common reasons for having a cystoscopy or ureteroscopy include:
- Feeling the need to urinate many times during the day
- Reoccurring urinary tract infections
- Blood in your urine
- Feeling the need to urinate right away
- Pain during urination
- Not being able to empty your bladder all the way
- Urine leakage
- Checking for cancer
A cystoscopy is performed in the doctor's office using a local anesthesia. For an ureteroscopy, your doctor will likely put you under general anesthesia.
During your cystoscopy or ureteroscopy, your doctor will be looking for abnormalities, including:
- Cancer or tumors
- A narrowed urethra
In some cases, your doctor may also use your cystoscopy or ureteroscopy to:
- Remove polyps, tumors or other abnormal tissue
- Break up or remove a stone in your urinary tract
- Take a tissue sample from your urinary tract
- Treat some part of your urinary tract with medication
- Insert a stent
If your doctor inserts a stent during your ureteroscopy, you will need to have a second procedure to have it removed.
After your cystoscopy or ureteroscopy, you may feel some discomfort while urinating and may see some blood in your urine. You may also need to urinate more often than usual.