A cystoscopy is a medical procedure that involves the insertion of a thin, flexible tube with a camera, called a cystoscope, into the urinary bladder. This procedure allows doctors to visualize the interior of the bladder and urethra, aiding in the diagnosis and treatment of various urinary tract conditions.


A cystoscopy may be recommended for individuals experiencing symptoms such as blood in the urine, frequent urination, painful urination, urinary tract infections, or unusual growths detected in imaging tests. It’s used to diagnose and monitor conditions like bladder infections, urinary tract stones, bladder cancer, and other abnormalities in the urinary tract.


There are two main types of cystoscopy:

  1. Flexible Cystoscopy: In this type, a flexible cystoscope is used. It’s thinner and more comfortable, making it suitable for outpatient procedures. It’s often used for routine check-ups, minor procedures, and to visualize the urethra and bladder lining.
  2. Rigid Cystoscopy: A rigid cystoscope is thicker and requires general or regional anesthesia. It provides a more detailed view and is used for complex procedures like removing bladder stones or tumors.


Before undergoing a cystoscopy, it’s important to follow these guidelines:

  • Provide Medical History: Inform your doctor about any medical conditions, allergies, or medications you are taking, including blood thinners.
  • Discuss Anesthesia: If you’ll be receiving anesthesia, discuss the type and any pre-procedure fasting requirements.
  • Arrange Transportation: If you’re receiving anesthesia, arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure.
  • Hygiene: On the day of the procedure, follow your doctor’s instructions regarding hygiene, which may include cleansing the genital area.


Here’s what you can anticipate during and after a cystoscopy:

  • During the Procedure: You’ll lie on an examination table, and the cystoscope will be inserted through your urethra into the bladder. A sterile solution may be used to fill the bladder for better visualization. The procedure may cause some discomfort or a sensation of fullness.
  • After the Procedure: After the cystoscope is removed, you might experience some temporary burning or discomfort during urination. Blood in the urine is also common and should subside within a day or two. Drinking plenty of water can help flush out the system.
  • Recovery: Most individuals can resume normal activities within a day after the procedure. If any symptoms worsen or persist, contact your doctor.


Cystoscopy is a generally safe procedure, but there can be rare complications such as infection, bleeding, or injury to the urinary tract. These risks are minimal and usually easily managed. If you have any concerns, discuss them with your healthcare provider to address any questions or worries you may have.


Cystoscopy is a valuable diagnostic and therapeutic tool used to examine the bladder and urinary tract. It’s an important step in diagnosing and managing various urinary conditions. Proper preparation and understanding of the procedure can help you feel more comfortable and informed as you undergo this medical examination. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized guidance and information.