Preparing for a cystoscopy

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What is a cystoscopy?

A cystoscopy is a procedure in which a thin telescope (called a cystoscope) is used to look inside your bladder. This is inserted through the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The surgeon will see pictures of the inside of the urethra and bladder on a screen. There are two types of cystoscopy:

  • flexible cystoscopy – a thin (about the width of a drinking straw), bendy cystoscope is used. This can be inserted using a local anaesthetic gel to numb the area
  • rigid cystoscopy – a slightly wider cystoscope that doesn’t bend. Because small surgical instruments can be passed down this, problems in the bladder can be treated at the same time with this procedure.