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A cystoscopy is a minor endoscopic procedure that allows your doctor to look inside your bladder and urinary system using a thin tube with a light and camera at one end, called a cystoscope.

What is a Cystoscopy?

Cystoscopy inserts a cystoscope via your urethra into your urinary bladder to examine it.

A cystoscopy investigates a multitude of urination problems including: incontinence, a constant or frequent need to urinate, inability to urinate or intermittent urination, an inability to empty your bladder fully, blood in your urine and, pain when you urinate. It can also be used to look into frequent urinary tract infections and pelvic pain.

A cystoscope can detect several conditions including: a narrowed or blocked urethra, problems with your ureters, urinary tract infections, non-cancerous growths called polyps, an enlarged prostate gland and, a biopsy will check for bladder cancer.

A cystoscope can also be used to treat bladder conditions such as removing small bladder tumours and stones, inserting or removing a stent (a small tube used to treat blockages) and, injecting medication into your bladder.

What does a Cystoscopy surgery involve? 

There are two main types of cystoscope:

flexible cystoscope – as the name suggests, the tube used is flexible. You are usually awake during this procedure and it is used to look inside your bladder.
rigid cystoscope – a slightly wider tube that doesn’t bend is used to allow your urologist to pass small surgical instruments into your bladder. They can then obtain a bladder sample or perform treatment.

For a flexible cystoscope you will be given a local anaesthetic and for a rigid cystoscope you will have a general anaesthetic.

The cystoscope is carefully inserted into your urethra and gently moved down towards your bladder. Sterile water may be pumped into your bladder to make it easier for your doctor to clearly see inside. Images will be sent to a monitor by the camera in the cystoscope that your doctor will monitor.

A flexible cystoscope normally takes less than five minutes. A rigid cystoscope takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.

What complications can happen after a Cystoscopy?

After a cystoscopy it’s normal to have some side effects for two to three days. These may include: a burning or stinging sensation while urinating, some blood in your urine which might make it look pink and, a need to urinate more frequently than usual. 

Complications of a cystoscopy include: a swollen urethra that makes urination difficult known as urethritis, infection and, more serious bleeding.

Your surgeon will talk you through the possible complications that can happen after a cystoscopy.

Cystoscopy recovery

Recovery after a cystoscope is normally quite quick. 

After a flexible cystoscopy, you can go home once you’ve emptied your bladder. You can return to your normal activities including work, exercise and having sex usually the same day or the day after the procedure.

After a rigid cystoscopy, you will normally go home the same day once you’ve emptied your bladder and the anaesthetic has worn off. You’ll be advised to take a couple of days off work to rest. You can return to your usual activities including work, exercise and having sex when you feel up to them.

Cystoscopy with Tees Valley Hospital

Cystoscopy at Tees Valley Hospital is performed by experienced and skilled urology surgeons who routinely perform this procedure.

At Tees Valley Hospital you will have easy access to convenient appointments so that you can quickly get a diagnosis and treatment if appropriate.

Contact us to book an appointment. 

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