Cystoscopy is an outpatient procedure that lets a urologist view the inside of the bladder and urethra in detail. It is often used to find causes of bleeding, blockage, or any abnormalities of the bladder and its lining.
Before the procedure, you will empty your bladder. You will be placed on an examination table, and a liquid or gel local anaesthetic may be used on your urethra. The cystoscope, a thin, lighted tube with lenses, is then inserted through the urethra into the bladder. Water or saline is infused through the cystoscope into the bladder. As the fluid fills the bladder, the bladder wall is stretched so the urologist can see clearly. The average cystoscopy takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
The bladder wall should appear smooth, and the bladder should be of normal size, shape, and position. If any tissue appears abnormal, the cystoscope can be used to remove a small sample. After the procedure, your urethra may be sore, and you may have a burning feeling for up to 48 hours. You may find some blood in your urine at first, but this should go away within 12 to 24 hours.