What is a Flexible cystoscopy?

This is a procedure to check for any problems in the urethra (canal which you pass urine) and the bladder. A lubricating gel which contains a local anaesthetic, is inserted in the urethra to numb the urethra before the scope is inserted.

A flexible fibre optic telescope is then inserted through the urethra into the bladder. The doctor will check the urethra as the scope is being passed into the bladder and then check the bladder.

A flexible cystoscopy allows quick diagnosis of symptoms you may be experiencing, allow for ongoing planning of care or it may be to remove a ureteric stent.

What happens before the procedure?

You may be required to have a urine sample to check for an infection. The doctor will determine whether this is necessary. If required, the urine sample must be sent to a pathology service no later than 4 days before your procedure is scheduled. The nurse will follow up the results and will arrange a prescription if your results indicate a urinary tract infection.

You will be required to sign a consent form. This will be prepared by the administration staff. You are required to sign the consent form with the doctor present. Please inform staff if you have any known allergies.

No fasting is required and you are able to take your normal medications including any diabetic and blood thinning medications (please inform the staff what type of blood thinning medication you are taking).

On the day of the procedure, please present to the rooms at the specified allocated time. The nurse will ask you to empty your bladder. You will then be asked to change into a gown before being positioned on the trolley on your back (supine position).

Diagram showing a cystoscopy for a male

The opening of the urethral will be cleansed using an antiseptic wash. A lubricating gel, which contains local anaesthetic, is inserted in the urethra. This means you do not require a general anaesthetic.

What happens during the procedure?

The doctor will apply a sterile drape on the lower half of your body. Looking through the lens, the doctor will guide the scope into the urethra. Sterile fluid is passed through the scope and into the bladder to allow the doctor a better view of your bladder.

You may feel like you want to pass urine as your bladder fills. Please let us know if at any time you feel uncomfortable.

If you are having a stent removed, a fine grasper will be passed down the scope to hold onto the stent before it is gently removed.

The procedure can take 5-10 minutes.

What happens following the procedure?

The doctor will discuss preliminary results/findings with you.

You will be asked to empty you bladder once the procedure is over then you can get dressed.

The administration staff will provide you with a further appointment and a medical certificate (if required – please ensure you ask the staff for this).

You will be able to drive and possibly return to work on the same day.

It is important you maintain a high fluid intake for 24 hours following your procedure to help flush the bladder. Your urine may be slightly blood stained. This is not a concern. You may experience some urinary frequency and burning when passing urine. Take regular pain relief such as paracetamol. Ural sachets may help with this.

You must contact the rooms if you experience any of the following:

  • Fever/chills
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Difficulty or inability to pass urine.