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Last updated: 11/24/2009


Cystoscopy is performed by urologists to examine the entire bladder lining and take biopsies of any questionable areas. Cystoscopy may be prescribed for patients who display the following conditions:

  • blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • inability...

    to control urination (incontinence)
  • urinary tract infection
  • signs of congenital abnormalities in the urinary tract
  • suspected tumors in the bladder
  • bladder or kidney stones
  • signs or symptoms of an enlarged prostate
  • pain or difficulty urinating (dysuria)
  • disorders of or injuries to the urinary tract
  • symptoms of interstitial cystitis

Blood and urine studies, in addition to x rays of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder, may be performed before a cystoscopy to obtain as much diagnostic information as possible. During the cystoscopy, a retrograde pyelogram may also be performed to examine the kidneys and ureters.



The 2D animation explains the process involved in a male cystoscopy procedure. A cystoscopy is a procedure that allows a urologist to see inside the urinary bladder. Note that the instruments shown in the animation are smaller relative to the patient in an actual cystoscopy.

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Other Information

Endoscopy of the urinary bladder via the urethra is called cystoscopy. Diagnostic cystoscopy is usually carried out with local anaesthesia. General anaesthesia is sometimes used for operative cystoscopic procedures.

When a patient has a urinary problem, the doctor may use a cystoscope to see the inside of the bladder and urethra.

The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The cystoscope has lenses like a telescope or microscope. These lenses let the doctor focus on the inner surfaces of the urinary tract. Some cystoscopes use optical fibres (flexible glass fibres) that carry an image from the tip of the instrument to a viewing piece at the other end. The cystoscope is as thick as a pencil and has a light at the tip. Many cystoscopes have extra tubes to guide other instruments for surgical procedures to treat urinary problems.

There are two main types of cystoscopy - flexible and rigid - differing in the flexibility of the cystoscope. Flexible cystoscopy is carried out using local anaesthesia on both sexes. Typically, lidocaine gel (such as the brand name Instillagel) is used as an anaesthetic, instilled in the urethra. Rigid cystoscopy can be performed under the same conditions, but is generally carried out under general anaesthesia, particularly in male subjects, due to the pain caused by the probe.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cystoscopy

Other Information

The estimated number of hospital admissions among adults aged 20 or older with “calculus of kidney and ureters” as a primary diagnosis was of 171,000 hospital stays in 2000.


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