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Cystoscopy is a office procedure that is used in men and women to visually inspect the bladder and the urethra using a small flexible telescope. Cystoscopy is typically done as part of the evaluation for blood in the urine or if there are other voiding complaints. This procedure is done with minimal discomfort. You will lie flat on a table with legs placed up into leg rests, and the genital area will be cleaned. The topical anesthetic jelly is used as a lubricant to create a “numbing” effect within the urethra. The flexible cystoscope is then passed into the urethra and bladder and visual inspection of your bladder and urethra is performed. During the procedure your bladder will be filled with sterile fluid to expand it, making it possible for the walls of the bladder to be inspected. The procedure generally takes less than 5 minutes once initiated.

A cystoscope is a small tube that has a fiber optic camera inside. There are flexible cystoscopes and rigid cystoscopes and both allow the urologist to look inside the urethra and bladder. Flexible cystoscopy can be performed in the office using a local anesthetic of lidocaine jelly. Rigid cystoscopy is usually done under general anesthesia in the operating room. For a cystoscopy, the scope is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder. An office cystoscopy usually takes less than 2 minutes to perform.


There are many reasons that urologists may recommend a cystoscopic exam including the evaluation of blood in the urine, recurrent urinary tract infection, bladder or urethral pain, urinary difficulties, prostate enlargement, bladder tumors and bladder stones.


Patients that undergo flexible cystoscopy usually have very minimal after effects and can return to work and normal activity immediately the same day.

Preparation for Your Procedure

There are “NO” dietary, fluid or medication restrictions required for this procedure. Please eat your meals and take “ALL” medication according to your normal schedule. Please let us know if you have a medical history that may require antibiotics before having invasive procedures such as routine teeth cleaning. If so, you may need to take an antibiotic medication before your procedure. You will be required to give us a urine specimen in the office when you check in for your appointment. Please note that the procedure may not be done if a urine specimen is not given or if there is a suggestion of a urinary tract infection.

What You Can Expect After Your Procedure

After your procedure you may feel a little discomfort with voiding and experience some frequency and urgency to urinate. These symptoms generally resolve within 24-48hrs. You may also notice a small amount of blood in your urine for a day or two following the procedure. Do not be alarmed. This is a normal result of the instrument being passed into your bladder. However, if you have any questions or concerns, please call our office.

Possible Risks of Cystoscopy

After a cystoscopy, there is a small risk of developing a urinary tract infection. If you experience fever, chills, painful urination or are pass large amounts of blood in your urine, please contact us during regular business hours at 703.717.4200. If these problems occur after regular business hours or on the weekends, one of our doctors can be contacted through the hospital or you can go to the Emergency Room.

Follow up instructions will be discussed with you by the Urologist after the procedure.


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