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Depending on the type of information needed from a cystoscopy, the procedure typically takes 10-40 minutes to complete. The patient will be asked to urinate before surgery which allows an accurate measurement of the remaining urine in the bladder. A well-lubricated cystoscope is inserted through the urethra into the bladder where a urine sample is taken. Fluid is then pushed in to inflate the bladder and allow the urologist to examine the entire bladder wall.

During an examination, the urologist may take the following steps: remove either bladder or kidney stones; gather tissue samples; and treat any suspicious lesions. In order to perform x-ray studies (retrograde pyelogram), a harmless dye is injected into the ureters by way of a catheter that is passed through the previously placed cystoscope. After completion of all needed tests, the cystoscope is removed.

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