Cystoscopy is an internal exploratory examination of the urethra and the bladder. With a cystoscope, the doctor looks at the inside of the urethra and the bladder and investigates any defects. A cystoscope is a thin hollow tube with a camera. Cystoscopy is a type of endoscopy.


Cystoscopy is performed when defects are suspected in the urethra, prostate area or bladder, for example in case of urinary problems, blood loss via the urine, incontinence or checking bladder polyps. The examination is also done to check for previously found defects of the bladder wall.


The cystoscope is a thin hollow tube filled with glass fibers or a lens system, which is connected to a light source. Via a lens at the end of the cystoscope, the doctor can look through a viewer into the urethra and the bladder. The images are displayed on a monitor. There are bendable (flexible) and metal (rigid) cystoscopes. Both can be used for both men and women.


After cleaning the penis or vagina, some gel is sprayed into the urethra. This gel acts as a lubricant and as an anesthetic agent of the mucosa, so that any pain is reduced to a minimum. The doctor inserts the cystoscope through the urethra into the bladder, while at the same time a sterile saline solution is introduced. The bladder unfolds, allowing the patient to get the feeling that he or she has to pee. The bladder never gets overloaded. With the cystoscope, the doctor may also take a piece of tissue (biopsy) away from the bladder wall for analysis or remove an internal catheter. The entire examination will take about five to ten minutes.