Cystoscopy is a procedure that lets your doctor look directly inside your urethra and bladder using a telescopy like instrument. It can be used to:

  • Help diagnose a problem with your urethra, bladder, or kidneys.
  • Take a sample (biopsy) of bladder or urethral tissue.
  • Treat certain problems (such as removing kidney stones).
  • Place a stent to bypass an obstruction.
  • Take special x-rays of the kidneys.


There are no special preparations needed to undergo this procedure. Make sure you come with a full bladder so we can check for signs of an infection. Tell your doctor before the exam if you:

  • Have allergies to any medications, iodine or latex
  • Are pregnant
  • Have valvular or heart implants
  • Taking blood thinners or aspirin

During the procedure

Cystoscopy is done in the doctor’s office or hospital. The doctor and sometimes a nurse are present during the procedure. It takes only a few minutes, longer if a biopsy, x-ray, or treatment needs to be done.

  • Make sure you sign a medical consent
  • You lie on an exam table on your back, knees bent and legs apart. You are covered with a drape.
  • Your urethra and the area around it sterilized with betadine. Anesthetic jelly may be applied to numb the urethra. Other pain medication is usually not needed. In some cases, you may be offered a mild sedative to help you relax. If a more extensive procedure is to be done, such as a biopsy or kidney stone removal, general anesthesia may be needed.
  • The cystoscope is inserted. A sterile fluid is put into the bladder to expand it. You may feel pressure from this fluid.
  • When the procedure is done, the cystoscope is removed.

After the Procedure

  • Drink Plenty of fluids
  • You may have burning or light bleeding when you urinate—this is normal.
  • Medications may be prescribed to ease any discomfort or prevent infection. Take these as directed.
  • Call your doctor if you have heavy bleeding or blood clots, burning that lasts more than a day, a fever over 101°F , or trouble urinating.

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