Cystoscopy is a procedure done by an Internal Medicine specialist to evaluate the bladder and lower urinary tract. The procedure is done with your pet under general anesthesia after he/she has not eaten for 12 or more hours. Most cystoscopic exams take about 25 minutes to one hour and it’s a low risk procedure, although anesthetic risk is always a consideration. There is a low risk of bladder or urethral rupture with this procedure, and that risk is slightly higher if a tumor is present in the urinary tract.
While under anesthesia, a rigid or flexible digital endoscope is passed through your pet’s urethral opening into his/her bladder. The Internal Medicine specialist is able to view an image of your pet’s urinary tract on a digital video screen. A biopsy instrument can be passed through the endoscope for the purpose of obtaining small samples of the bladder or urethral wall.
No stitches are required after the procedure and most patients are able to go home the same day. Sometimes medications are prescribed based on the initial visual impression of the urinary tract, but may be changed when biopsy results return in four to seven business days.
Cystoscopy is recommended for patients with blood in the urine, incontinence, straining to urinate, recurrent urinary tract infections or bladder or urethral tumors.