Interstitial Cystitis



Screening and Diagnosis

The most common forms of testing or analysis your doctor may perform are called a cystoscopy and ureteroscopy.

Cystoscopy
A cystoscopy is an examination of the inside of the bladder and urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. In men, the urethra is the tube that runs through the penis. The doctor performing the examination uses a cystoscope—a long, thin instrument with an eyepiece on the external end and a tiny lens and a light on the end that is inserted into the bladder. The doctor inserts the cystoscope into the patient’s urethra, and the small lens magnifies the inner lining of the urethra and bladder, allowing the doctor to see inside the hollow bladder. Many cystoscopes have extra channels within the sheath to insert other small instruments that can be used to treat or diagnose urinary problems.

A doctor may perform a cystoscopy to find the cause of many urinary conditions, including:

  • frequent urinary tract infections
  • blood in the urine, which is called hematuria
  • a frequent and urgent need to urinate
  • unusual cells found in a urine sample
  • painful urination, chronic pelvic pain, or interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome
  • urinary blockage caused by prostate enlargement or some other abnormal narrowing of the urinary tract
  • a stone in the urinary tract, such as a kidney stone
  • an unusual growth, polyp, tumor, or cancer in the urinary tract

Ureteroscopy
A ureteroscopy is an examination or procedure using a ureteroscope. A ureteroscope, like a cystoscope, is an instrument for examining the inside of the urinary tract. A ureteroscope is longer and thinner than a cystoscope and is used to see beyond the bladder into the ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Some ureteroscopes are flexible like a thin, long straw. Others are more rigid and firm. Through the ureteroscope, the doctor can see a stone in the ureter and then remove it with a small basket at the end of a wire inserted through an extra channel in the ureteroscope. Another way to treat a stone through a ureteroscope is to extend a flexible fiber through the scope up to the stone and then, with a laser beam shone through the fiber, break the stone into smaller pieces that can then pass out of the body in the urine. How and what the doctor will do is determined by the location, size, and composition of the stone.

The reasons for a ureteroscopy include the following conditions:

  • frequent urinary tract infections
  • hematuria
  • unusual cells found in a urine sample
  • urinary blockage caused by an abnormal narrowing of the ureter
  • a kidney stone in the ureter
  • an unusual growth, polyp, tumor, or cancer in the ureter


 
 

Central Scheduling: 612.672.7422

Provider Referrals: 612.672.7000

Administrative Offices: 612.884.0600
 

©2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.