Flexible cystoscopy

Flexible cystoscopy is the examination of the inside of the bladder and the urethra using a fine, flexible fibre optic tube with a light and a tiny camera at the end. This test can tell us whether there are any suspicious areas of the bladder wall; whether there are any abnormalities of the prostate; or whether there is any unusual tightening of the urethra or bladder neck.

This examination is carried out by one of our experienced urologists; it takes around 15 minutes and should cause little or no discomfort. You will be given an antibiotic tablet or injection and some local anaesthetic gel beforehand.

The tip of the flexible cystoscope is inserted into the penis and up into the urethra. As the scope reaches the sphincter below the prostate gland you are asked to try and pass urine, so allowing the sphincter to relax and the cystoscope to pass along the urethra. However you will not be passing urine, but some of the sterile water that has been run into the bladder so stretch out the folds in the bladder lining so that the camera can get a clearer view.

You can expect to be told the findings of the examination immediately after the procedure, and may discuss any problems found with your consultant.