Cystoscopy is a procedure that enables your doctor to view the inside of your bladder and urethra in great detail. This is done by using a specialized instrument called a cystoscope. This instrument has lenses like a telescope or microscope. Some cystoscopes use optical fibers that carry an image from the tip of the instrument to a viewing piece at the other end. The cystoscope is as thin as a pencil and has a light at the tip.

The test may be performed for a variety of reasons:

  • Diagnose and evaluate urinary tract disorders
  • Check for cancer of the bladder or urethra
  • Diagnose an enlarged prostate
  • Help find out the cause of pain
  • Diagnose recurrent bladder infections
  • Check for urinary blockage, unusual growth, stone in the urinary tract
  • Need for a bladder catheter
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Blood in the urine
  • Unusual cells found in urine sample

Preparation before the procedure

  • You may be asked to give a urine sample before the test to check for infection
  • Avoid urinating for an hour before this test
  • Tell your doctor before the procedure if you have ever had an allergic reaction to lidocaine or other numbing medication used in dentistry
  • Tell your doctor before the procedure if you take aspirin or other medications that affect blood clotting, your doctor may want to adjust or temporarily stop the medications before this test
  • You must sign an informed consent
  • You will be asked to wear a hospital gown during the procedure
  • You should make arrangements for travel home from the hospital

For a more in depth look at this procedure, visit our Health Library page on this topic.