A cystoscopy is an in-office procedure performed by a urologist that allows the physician to see the inside of the lower urinary tract (urethra, prostate, bladder neck, and bladder).  Cystoscopy can be used to detect abnormalities of the lower urinary tract.

In this procedure, a cystoscope (thin flexible, telescope-like tube with a light and a tiny camera attached) is inserted into the bladder through the urethra (tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body).  The physician uses the cystoscope to visualize changes in the lining of the urinary tract.

Cystoscopy may be used to evaluate and diagnose the following conditions:

Blood in the urine (hematuria), frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder cancer, chronic pelvic pain, interstitial cystitis, painful urination, urinary blockage (enlarged prostate [BPH], narrowing of the urinary tract, stricture, tumors), urinary incontinence or overactive bladder, and/or urinary stones

Abnormalities that can be detected include the following:

Tumors, urethral stricture (scarring or narrowing in the urethra), enlarged prostate (BPH) causing urinary blockage, bladder stones, etc….


A cystoscopy is performed in our office.  For a male, a topical anesthetic (lidocaine gel) is introduced prior to the procedure to numb and lubricate the urethra.  During the procedure, the flexible scope is slowly inserted into the urethra to the bladder.  The physician examines the

urethra and introduces sterile liquid (water or saline).  into the bladder to improve the view of the bladder wall.  As the bladder fills, the patient may experience an uncomfortable urge to urinate.  A cystoscopy usually only takes a few minutes.

Side effects, which are usually mild and resolve within a couple of hours to days, include burning during urination and blood in the urine (hematuria).  Patients can go home immediately following the procedure.