Urologists employ this procedure to see the inside of the lower urinary tract (urethra, prostate, bladder neck, and bladder). Cystoscopy can also be used to detect abnormalities of the lower urinary tract or to assist in transurethral surgery (e.g., prostate surgery).
The cystoscope, which is a thin, telescope-like tube with a light and tiny camera attached, is inserted into the bladder through the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body).
Cystoscopy may be used to evaluate and diagnose blood in the urine, chronic pelvic pain, painful urination, interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infections, overactive bladder, incontinence, urinary stones, or bladder cancer. Cystoscopy may be performed in a physician’s office, under local anesthesia, or as an outpatient procedure, under sedation with regional or general anesthesia.
Patients should notify their physician if they are taking any medications, especially blood thinners such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Coumadin.