Cystoscopy enables a urologist to directly view the inside of the urinary bladder and urethra in great detail using a "cystoscope" (the instrument used).
There are two types of cystoscope:
- Rigid cystoscope: this is a solid straight telescope, which has been in use for many years. It is used alone with a high intensity light source and a separate channel to allow other instruments to be attached.
- Flexible cystoscope: this is more commonly used particularly for diagnosis and for the follow up of most bladder tumours. It is a fibre optic instrument that can bend easily and has a manoeuvrable tip that makes it easy to pass along the curves of the urethra. A local anaesthetic is used to perform this procedure.
Cystoscopy may be indicated for the following conditions:
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Blood in your urine (haematuria)
- Loss of bladder control (incontinence) or an overactive bladder
- Unusual cells found in urine sample
- Need for a bladder catheter
- Painful urination, chronic pelvic pain, or interstitial cystitis
- Urinary blockage such as prostate enlargement, stricture, or narrowing of the urinary tract
- Stone in the urinary tract
- Unusual growth, polyp, tumour, or cancer