Is Cystoscopy Safe? Why Your Doctor’s Experience Matters 

Although cystoscopy is generally safe, complications such as a tear or perforation can occur. As recently as 2012, it has been reported in literature (1) that the incidence of lower urinary tract injury during gynecological procedures was significant. While at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dr. Natalie Drake and researchers pioneered a study not only demonstrating these findings but also developing an assessment tool now used to evaluate both residents and physicians as part of their medical school curriculum.

What Is Cystoscopy?

Cystoscopy is typically used to diagnose urinary tract problems such as genetic abnormalities, blockage of the urinary tract, cancer, bleeding or infection that can lead to constant urinary tract issues. In gynecological surgery, it may be used to visualize post-procedure suture placement or other devices.

It is performed with the use of a small flexible tube known as a cystoscope, which is inserted through the uretha. With this device, the physician visualizes the areas of the urinary tract, as well as the bladder, to determine if additional treatment is necessary. At the same time, other instruments can be inserted through the tube to either wash the bladder and/or perform procedures to diagnose or correct underlying issues causing the urinary tract problems.

Why is Cystoscopy Important and Necessary?

Some of the most critical reasons that your physician may recommend a cystoscopy procedure are the following:

  • Potential mass or tumor in the bladder
  • Urine blockage due to growths or tissue malformations
  • Repeated urinary tract infections or kidney infections
  • Scarring as a result of constant infections
  • Injury of the bladder or urinary tract area
  • Bladder stones

What Other Urinary and Bladder Issues Can Occur?

There are other bladder issues that can occur, such as Overactive Bladder Condition where a person constantly feels pressure in the bladder to urinate. Additionally, you may experience symptoms of urinary incontinence such as:

  • Leaking urine when you sneeze or cough
  • Having to urinate frequently
  • Awaking from sleep to urinate 3 or more times
  • Feeling pressure in your bladder when you exercise or perform other tasks

To treat these and other symptoms of the vaginal area caused by aging, childbirth or menopause related conditions, Dr. Drake utilizes a radio-frequency device approved and cleared from the FDA called ThermiVA.

In this treatment, a small wand is inserted in the vaginal area where temperature- controlled radiofrequency heat is distributed. The goal is to stimulate new collagen production as well as revive blood vessels to renew their pathways, leading to a more vibrant vaginal area. Studies and patient testimonials have documented the success women are having in treatment of urinary incontinence, dryness of the vaginal area and enlarged and relaxed vaginal areas after childbirth.

What Are Procedures Dr. Drake is Now Performing?

Staying very involved with her field of gynecology, Dr. Drake specializes in procedures to assist women with urological issues such as mild to moderate urinary incontinence and vaginal issues due to age, pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause. She pioneered women’s gynecological progress by being one of the first to implement the use of radiofrequency procedures in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas to treat vaginal problems plaguing women.

Her specific procedures that might benefit you include:

How Did You Benefit From Dr. Drake’s Research?

As a result of this 2012 study, today’s residents not only receive instructional material on cystoscopic procedures but also they can utilize “ an intense laboratory-based skills curriculum designed as a review course for surgeons who reported experience with intraoperative cystoscopies.” Dr. Drake and her colleagues also developed a “global and task-specific assessment tool to measure proficiency in performing cystoscopy,” as reported in the paper.

Today Dr. Drake reports that following their research and recommendations from theirs and similar other studies, “several of the large academic training facilities now have simulation centers where a resident can simulate and train to do cystoscopy – which is the advanced version of what we did…. If a residency program can have access to a simulation center, it’s the best idea to train the residents.”

Thanks to researchers such as Dr. Natalie Drake, women can now feel more confident that the cystoscopy procedure performed by their OB-GYN is much more likely to be routine without any complications.

Dr. Drake is now serving the greater Houston area as a specialist in vaginal rejuvenation. She is conveniently located in The Woodlands, Texas and treats patients from all the surrounding South Texas area. Her office is located at 17350 St Luke’s Way, Suite 380, The Woodlands, Texas.

To learn more about the symptoms of urinary incontinence or to find out if you may be a candidate for vaginal rejuvenation please contact us today at (281) 402-3268.