Skip to main menu Skip to main content Skip to footer


What is Cystoscopy?

Cystoscopy is a procedure that lets your doctor see inside your bladder and urethra – the tube that carries urine out of your body. They use a thin tube with a tiny camera called a cystoscope. The cystoscope goes into your urethra and up into your bladder. This lets the doctor see the lining of these areas on a screen.

There are a few ways cystoscopy can be done. One is in the exam room, where they put numbing jelly in your urethra so you don’t feel the cystoscope go in. It can also be done as an outpatient procedure with sedation medicine. You may also have it in the hospital with general anesthesia so you are asleep.

The type of cystoscopy depends on why it’s being done. Your doctor will choose the best option for your situation.

Why Do I Need Cystoscopy?

There are many reasons your doctor may want you to have a cystoscopy. Here are some common ones:

  • To find out why you have symptoms like blood in your urine, leakage, frequent urination, or painful urination. It can also check for causes of repeat urinary tract infections.
  • To diagnose bladder problems like cancer, stones, or inflammation.
  • To treat some bladder conditions. Tools can be used through the cystoscope to treat things like small tumors.
  • To see if an enlarged prostate is blocking your urethra.
  • To examine the tubes between your kidneys and bladder (ureters) along with the bladder. This is called ureteroscopy.

When to Call the Doctor

Contact your doctor right away if you have:

  • Fever or chills
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Pain that gets worse
  • Inability to urinate
  • Other concerning symptoms

What Happens During Cystoscopy?

During the procedure, the cystoscope is gently inserted up your urethra until it reaches your bladder. The doctor can see the inside of these areas on a monitor. They will look closely for anything abnormal.

If you have sedation, you’ll be relaxed and unaware. With general anesthesia, you’ll be fully asleep. With just numbing jelly, you may feel some pressure or discomfort when the scope goes in. Tell your doctor right away if you feel pain.

Getting Ready for Cystoscopy

Before your cystoscopy, your doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare. Be sure to:

Potential Risks and Complications

Most cystoscopies go smoothly, but any procedure has some risks:

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about risks.

Recovering from Cystoscopy

Your recovery time after cystoscopy is usually fairly quick. Follow any post-procedure directions from your doctor, like:

Call your doctor if you have burning, bleeding, trouble peeing, or other worrying symptoms after the procedure. Most people feel back to normal within a day or two.

Don’t hesitate to call with any questions or worries during your recovery. Your doctor’s office should provide you with direct contact information.

Map Pin Icon
Find Your Location
Calendar and Clock Icon
Schedule An Appointment
Key and Lock Icon
Patient Portal
Cloud Icon
Download Forms