What is a cystoscopy?

A cystoscope is a thin tube with a camera and light on the end. During a cystoscopy, a doctor inserts this tube through your urethra (the tube that carries urine out of your bladder) and into your bladder so they can visualize the inside of your bladder. Magnified images from the camera are displayed on a screen where your doctor can see them.

Reasons for having a cystoscopy

Your doctor might order this test if you have urinary problems, such as a constant need to urinate or painful urination. Your doctor might also order the procedure to investigate reasons for:

  • blood in your urine
  • frequent urinary tract infections
  • an overactive bladder
  • pelvic pain

A cystoscopy can reveal several conditions, including bladder tumors, stones, or cancer. Your doctor can also use this procedure to diagnose:

  • blockages
  • enlarged prostate gland
  • noncancerous growths
  • problems with the ureters (tubes connecting your bladder to your kidneys)

A cystoscopy can also be used to treat underlying bladder conditions. Your doctor can pass tiny surgical tools through the scope to remove small bladder tumors and stones or to take a sample of bladder tissue.

Other uses include:

  • taking a urine sample to check for tumors or infection
  • inserting a small tube to assist with urine flow
  • injecting dye so kidney problems can be identified on an X-ray



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