A cystoscopy is a procedure that examines the bladder with a lighted scope. The scope allows your doctor to look through the urethra and into the bladder. The urethra is a tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
Local anesthesia helps to prevent pain during the procedure. Your doctor inserts a cystoscope through your urinary opening into the urethra and the bladder. Your doctor drains your bladder and takes a sample for testing. Next, your doctor fills your bladder with sterile water or saline solution to allow a better view of the bladder walls.
The procedure takes about 15 minutes. You may feel some discomfort or the urge to urinate when your doctor fills your bladder.
After the procedure, you may experience a burning sensation or see small amounts of blood when you urinate. To help with your recovery at home:
- Drink plenty of fluids for the first few hours after the procedure.
- Take any prescriptions your doctor provides.
Cystoscopy may be done to investigate the following symptoms:
- Repeated urinary tract infections
- Blood in the urine
- Urinary incontinence
- Frequent urination
- Dribbling after urination
- Painful urination
- Difficulty urinating
Conditions We're Looking For
Some abnormalities can be diagnosed through cystoscopy, including:
- Bladder stones
- Pouches on the bladder wall
- Ulcers on the bladder wall
- Narrowing of the urethra
- Enlargement of the prostate gland in men
Your doctor will review potential problems, which may include:
- Rarely, accidental damage of the bladder wall with the cystoscope
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
- Active infection
- Bleeding disorder
Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.