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.

Why Is Cystoscopy Done?

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  • Find problems of the urinary tract, such as urinary tract infections that did not respond to treatment
  • Find the cause of symptoms such as blood in the urine
  • Find the cause of urinary incontinence, urinary frequency or hesitancy, an inability to pass urine (retention), or a sudden and overwhelming need to urinate (urgency)
  • Urinary blockages, caused by enlarged prostate, kidney stones, or tumors
  • Remove tissue samples for biopsy
  • Remove foreign objects
  • Place ureteral catheters (stents) to help urine flow from the kidneys to the bladder
  • Treat urinary tract problems such as urinary tract stones or growths, treat bleeding in the bladder, relieve blockages in the urethra, or treat or remove tumors

How to Prepare

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Make sure to tell the doctor if you have any drug allergies and have had bleeding problems, are taking take blood-thinning medicine, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin), or if you could be pregnant.

You should empty your bladder just before the test. You may be given medicine to prevent a urinary tract infection that could be caused by the test.

If regional or general anesthesia is being used, patients are instructed to fast for at least 4 hours before the procedure. If local anesthesia is being used, a topical anesthetic (lidocaine) is introduced prior to the procedure to numb and lubricate the urethra.

At Premier Medical Group Urology Division, cystoscopies are performed in the Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Newburgh and Fishkill locations.