Cystoscopy involves placing a small flexible telescope into the end of the urethra and slowly advancing it into the bladder.

Your Urologist will be able to evaluate the urethra tube and bladder outlet for any evidence of blockage. Once in the bladder, the entire lining of the bladder will be examined thoroughly.

When to ask a Urologist about Cystoscopy

Cystoscopy can be a necessary component of the evaluation for many different urologic conditions. A few common indications include blood in the urine, urinary tract infections, lower urinary tract symptoms, and history of bladder cancer.


Typically covered by most insurances (although coinsurance and deductibles may apply). Coverage will be verified prior to proceeding. If you do not have insurance, our office will be able to give you an out-of-pocket cost estimate.


Cystoscopy is a diagnostic procedure and not intended to treat an underlying condition. Visual findings on cystoscopy will help the physician to determine the appropriate treatment course for you.

Possible Side Effects

Cystoscopy is very safe. It takes only a few minutes and is generally performed while patients are awake with the use of numbing lubrication. Following the procedure, there is a small chance of developing a urinary tract infection, bleeding or temporary inability to urinate. Long lasting side effects are extremely rare but could include scar tissue formation from minor trauma caused by passing the telescope.

Alternative Approaches

In most cases, there is no other methodology that provides diagnostic information similar to cystoscopy. Alternatives to cystoscopy include continued observation of the underlying condition without further treatment. The risks of observation vary based on the underlying condition.

What to do to Prepare for Procedure

Most patients can continue all their medications, including blood thinners, prior to the procedure. For patients who have a special need to be asleep for the procedure, you will be given specific instructions from the surgical schedulers. Preventative antibiotics are only necessary for a minority of patients with certain infection risk factors.

What to Expect after Procedure

This procedure generally takes only a few minutes. With the use of a lubricating numbing jelly most patients do not experience pain or require general anesthesia during the procedure.

The majority of patients do very well with minimal or no side effects. Some have pain or burning during urination which typically resolves on its own within a few days.