Urology Center of Englewood



The urinary tract includes the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder, and the urethra. The kidneys create urine by filtering the blood and removing waste and excess water. From the kidneys, urine travels to the bladder through small tubes called ureters. Urine is then stored in the bladder until it is passed to the outside of the body through the urethra. The opening of the urethra is at the end of the penis in men, and just in front of the vagina in women.

Cystoscopy is a tool used to evaluate various problems in the urinary tract. During a cystoscopy, a thin tube with a lens and light is inserted through the urethra. The cystoscope allows a doctor to view the inside of the urethra and bladder. If an abnormal area is seen, the doctor may remove a sample of tissue during the procedure.

When is a Cystoscopy Needed?

A cystoscopy may be used to evaluate many different urinary problems, including blood in the urine, frequent urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, a urinary blockage, a urinary-tract stone, a tumor or other unusual growth in the urinary tract, or frequent, urgent, or uncomfortable urination.[1]

What Can I Expect During and After a Cystoscopy?

A cystoscopy is generally performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia. After numbing the area, the doctor gently inserts the cystoscope into the urethra and slides it up into the bladder. The bladder is filled with sterile water in order to give the doctor a better view of the bladder wall. Having the bladder filled with water may cause some discomfort or an urge to urinate.

The exam can often be completed within 15 minutes or so. If the doctor needs to administer treatment or remove a sample of tissue, it may last a little longer.

After a cystoscopy, you may notice some blood in your urine or slight burning during urination. If these problems persist, you should call your doctor. You should also call your doctor if you notice signs of a urinary tract infection, such as pain or fever.


[1] National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Cystoscopy and Ureteroscopy. NIH Publication No. 09-4800. August 2009.