Why a cystoscopy is used

A cystoscopy can be used to investigate problems with your bladder or urinary system, or it may be used as part of a medical procedure.

Investigating symptoms

You may need to have a cystoscopy if you experience symptoms that suggest there's something wrong with your bladder. For example:

  • Urinary incontinence the involuntary passing of urine
  • blood in your urine (haematuria)
  • persistent pelvic pain
  • pain or a burning sensation when you pass urine (dysuria)
  • frequently needing to urinate
  • not being able to pass urine or only being able to pass urine intermittently ("stop-start")
  • a feeling that your bladder isn't completely empty after passing urine

Investigating conditions

A cystoscopy may also be needed if you have a condition that affects your urinary system, or previous test results suggest that you may do (such as abnormal urine test results).

Conditions that a cystoscopy may be used to detect or monitor include:

  • a narrowed or blocked urethra (urethral stricture); the urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body
  • serious or repeated urinary tractinfections
  • polyps (non-cancerous growths)
  • an enlarged prostategland
  • bladder stones
  • problems with the ureters (the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder)
  • bladder cancer , as well as other cancers of the urinary tract

Carrying out procedures

Aurologist (specialist in treating bladder conditions) can carry out a number of medical procedures using surgical instruments passed downa cystoscope. These include:

  • removal of a stone from the bladder or ureter
  • obtaining a urine sample from each of the ureters to check for an infection or tumour
  • removing a sample of tissue for testing in cases of suspected bladder cancer ( biopsy )
  • inserting a stent (small tube) into a narrowed ureter to help the flow of urine, or removing an existingstent
  • injecting dye into the ureters up towards the kidneysthis will be highlighted on an X-ray and will help to identify problems such as a blockage or kidney stone
  • injecting medication into the bladder or ureters for example, to treat a problem where urine flows up the ureters
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 14 Jul 2016