Cystoscopy procedure is performed by the urologist to assess the condition and check for any problems in the urethra and bladder. A urologist is a doctor specializing in surgical and medical diseases involved in the female and male urinary system and male reproductive system.

There are two types of cystoscopy procedure:

  • Flexible cystoscopy procedure: uses a thin, lighted and flexible cystoscope, and is performed for diagnostic purposes or to check the outcome of a previous surgery done within the bladder or urethra.
  • Rigid cystoscopy procedure: uses a thin, lighted and firm cystoscope, and is performed for assessment of bladder and urethral linings, and performs procedures such as obtain tissue samples for analysis, repair bleeding vessels, or remove or crush stone obstructing in the urethra and bladder.
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Why Cytoscopy Is Required

Bladder scope cystoscopy is done because of consistent urinary problems such as:

  • blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • pain or burning sensation while urination
  • urinary frequency- urination of 8 times or more each day
  • urinary urgency- the inability to delay urination
  • urinary retention- inefficient emptying of the bladder
  • urinary incontinence- inability to control urine causing urine leaks
  • recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI)

During a cystoscopy procedure the urologist can:

  • Check for bladder stones: bladder stones can cause pain in urination and blood in the urine.
  • Check for abnormal tissue growth: polyps and other unusual growths in the bladder and urethra can be seen.
  • Assess for urethral strictures: causes urinary problems in a person; the urologist can check the cause, location and severity of the urethral stricture.
  • Assess and treatment for prostate enlargement: increased size of the prostate can precipitate a variety of uncomfortable urinary symptoms.
  • Remove or crush stones in the bladder or urethra: facilitates stone extraction or using an instrument, laser or ultrasound waves to crush a bigger stone.
  • Obtain tissue sample or treat abnormal tissue growth: a urologist can take a tissue specimen for analysis.

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Procedure of Cystoscopy

After the interview, physical examination, and diagnostic tests done, the urologist will schedule a cystoscopy procedure. Here are the procedures on how a bladder cystoscopy is performed:

  1. For a flexible cystoscopy procedure, the doctor will put on some local anesthetic on the patient’s urethra. For rigid cystoscopy, the anesthesiologist will give spinal anesthesia or general anesthesia to the patient. Anesthesia will help relieve pain and discomfort during the bladder scope cystoscopy.
  2. For flexible cystoscopy procedure, there is no special positioning needed but also depends on your doctor’s preference. For rigid cystoscopy, the patient is placed on a lithotomy position, lying on back with knees bent at 70-90 degrees and legs are secured stirrups and attached at the operating table. Then, the urethra will be cleansed.
  3. The urologist will insert the cystoscope through the patient’s urethra. Then, sterile water or normal saline will be instilled through the cystoscope. Then, the urologist carefully assesses the lining of the urethra until it reaches the bladder linings. If there are any stones, it will be removed or crushed and will be flushed out using sterile water. For tissue growth, it will be removed or a specimen will be taken and sent to the laboratory.
  4. After the procedure, the doctor will drain the instilled fluids. At times, a foley catheter will be inserted and attached to the urine bag.

For patients who had spinal anesthesia or general anesthesia, they will be monitored for 1-2 hours in the post-anesthesia care unit until the anesthesia wears off, and will be discharged after depending on the patient’s condition.

Some clinics have monitors inside so the patient can view the procedure together with the doctor. Flexible cystoscopy pain is manageable with local anesthetics and the doctor may order analgesics so the patient can go home after the procedure.

What Does Cystoscopy Help To Determine

Bladder scope cystoscopy helps determine the following:

  • Stones obstructing the urethra and the bladder
  • Abnormal tissue growth on the bladder or urethral linings such as polyps, tumor or cancer
  • Urethral stricture due to enlarged prostate, scar tissue


Risks of bladder cystoscopy include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Narrowing of the urethra


What is a cystoscopy?2020-08-27T09:12:46+00:00

Cystoscopy procedure is performed by a urologist to check any obstruction, bleeding, unusual growth and check the linings of the urethra and bladder.

Why do I need a cystoscopy?2020-08-27T09:13:27+00:00

A person needs a bladder cystoscopy because of recurrent urinary symptoms such as:

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Pain or burning sensation while urination
  • Urinary frequency
  • Urinary urgency
  • Urinary retention
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI)
What are the risks?2020-08-27T09:14:14+00:00

After a bladder scope cystoscopy, a patient is at risk of

  • Bleeding
  • Pain on adjacent tissues
  • Infection
  • Tightening of the urethra
  • Pain or burning sensation while urination
  • Complications from anesthesia
What is the procedure of examination?2020-08-27T09:15:34+00:00
  1. Topical anesthesia to patients for flexible cystoscopy procedure and general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia to patients for rigid cystoscopy procedure.
  2. The patient will be positioned depending on the bladder cystoscopy to be performed. The urethra will be cleansed.
  3. The cystoscope will be inserted carefully through the urethra, and then sterile water or normal saline will be instilled to the bladder to facilitate better visualization of the urethra and bladder linings. The urologist can remove or crush an obstructing stone, take a specimen or remove the unusual tissue growth. Specimen will be sent to the laboratory.
  4. The doctor will drain the fluid in the bladder; a foley catheter may be inserted and attached to a urine bag.
Will a person needs any kind of dressing after cystoscopy examination?2020-08-27T09:15:58+00:00

The person will not need any dressing after the bladder scope cystoscopy. Minimal bleeding can be due to injury in the urethra or bladder, or due to the pierced or removed tissue growth, polyps or tumor.  Increasing your oral fluid intake helps to clear up the bleeding.

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