Cystoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of the bladder and the urethra using a thin, lighted instrument called a cystoscope .
The cystoscope is inserted into your urethra and slowly advanced into the bladder. Cystoscopy allows your doctor to look at areas of your bladder and urethra that usually do not show up well on X-rays. Tiny surgical instruments can be inserted through the cystoscope that allow your doctor to remove samples of tissue (biopsy) or samples of urine.
Small bladder stones and some small growths can be removed during cystoscopy. This may eliminate the need for more extensive surgery.
Cystoscopy may be done to:
Cystoscopy generally is a very safe test. If a general anesthetic is used, there are some risks of general anesthesia. There is no risk of loss of sexual function.
The most common side effect is a temporary swelling of the urethra, which may make it difficult to urinate. A catheter inserted in your bladder can help drain the urine until the swelling goes away. Bleeding sometimes occurs, but it usually stops on its own.
You may have a mild infection in the urinary tract after cystoscopy. This can usually be prevented or treated by taking medicine before and after the test. In rare cases, the infection can spread through the body, and in very rare circumstances, usually with seriously ill people, the infection can be life-threatening.
Another rare complication is a puncture of the urethra or bladder by one of the instruments, which requires surgery to repair.