A cystoscopy is a urological procedure that is done to look at the lining of the urethra and bladder using a small camera (cystoscope).

During the procedure, the cystoscope is inserted up the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body), and then up to the bladder. Once the camera has reached the bladder, a doctor or nurse can look at the bladder.

There are two different types of cystoscopes that can be used for this procedure:

Flexible – this is bendy and no wider than a pencil. It is inserted while the patient is still awake.

Rigid – this does not bend and is slightly wider compared to the other. During this procedure, patients will either be under general anaesthetic or will have the lower part of their body numbed.

Why might you need a cystoscopy?

A cystoscopy is done to look at or treat abnormalities that occur within the urethra or bladder. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • To investigate frequent UTI (urinary tract infections), blood in the urine (haematuria), and pelvic pain or problems passing urine.
  • To take a biopsy (a small sample of tissue) to check for cancer cells.
  • To treat certain conditions, such as removing bladder stones.

A cystoscopy is a relatively pain-free procedure. You may experience slight discomfort for a few hours afterwards. Before you have any procedure, your doctor will explain the process and ensure you know all of the risks associated with the procedure. Never hesitate to ask your doctor or a nurse a question if you are unsure about anything.

This leaflet from the BAUS (British Association of Urological Surgeons) contains more information about having a cystoscopy.

If you would like to speak to Mr Ken Anson about possible treatment, please email us at or call us on 07921 874889.

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