What is a cystoscopy?

A cystoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to examine the lining of your:

  • Bladder
  • Urethra (Tube that carries urine out of the body)

How it works

A thin, hollow tube called a cystoscope is inserted into your urethra and slowly advanced into your bladder. This tube is equipped with a camera and light to check for any bleeding, blockages or growths

There are two types of cystoscopy:

  1. Flexible cystoscopy uses a soft and flexible instrument. It is a basic diagnostic procedure that is done under local anaesthesia.
  2. Rigid cystoscopy uses a wider cystoscope that does not bend. It can be used for diagnosis and treatment at the same time. This procedure is done under spinal or general anaesthesia.

Why do you need a cystoscopy?

If you're prone to frequent urinary tract infections, have unexplained blood in the urine or experience difficulty urinating, your doctor may recommend a cystoscopy. A cystoscopy is helpful in assessing and diagnosing:

  • Bladder conditions, such as urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence (in both adults and children), overactive bladders, and pain while peeing.
  • Bladder diseases, such as bladder cancer, bladder stones and bladder inflammation (cystitis).
  • Prostate conditions such as an enlarged prostate.

Apart from spotting these issues, your doctor can help to remove small tumours during the procedure.

What are the risks and complications of a cystoscopy?

A cystoscopy is generally considered safe. However, there are some minor risks such as:

  • Allergic reactions. You may develop a reaction to the anaesthetic used.
  • Infections. In rare cases, a cystoscopy can introduce germs into the urinary tract, leading to infection. To prevent this, antibiotics may be prescribed before and after the procedure.
  • Bleeding due to catheter insertion. Some blood in the urine may be expected in the first 24 hours.
  • Stomach pain or soreness in the urethra. You may experience mild stomach discomfort or a burning sensation when urinating. These symptoms should not last more than 48 hours.

When to visit the UCC?

If you develop any of the following symptoms after cystoscopy, please call 6473 2222 to visit our UCC immediately:

  • Fever
  • Bloody urine that lasts for more than 48 hours
  • Pain that persists for more than 48 hours
This page has been reviewed by our medical content reviewers.

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