A flexible cystoscopy is a procedure to check for any problems in your bladder using a flexible fibre-optic telescope (cystoscope).
It may be recommended if you are getting blood in your urine, repeated infections or have an irritable bladder (a sudden and uncontrolled urge to pass urine). (see figure 1)
Are there any alternatives to a flexible cystoscopy?
A scan may give some information about the cause of the problem. It is possible to have a rigid cystoscopy that allows your surgeon to treat certain problems. However, a rigid cystoscopy involves a general or spinal anaesthetic.
What does the procedure involve?
The procedure usually takes about five minutes. Your doctor will pass the cystoscope into your bladder through your urethra. They will use the cystoscope to look for any problems in the lining of your bladder. Your doctor will let you know if they need to perform a biopsy.
What complications can happen?
Narrowing of the urethra
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home the same day, after you have passed urine.
You should be able to go back to work the day after the cystoscopy unless you are told otherwise. A member of the team will tell you what was found during the cystoscopy and will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.
A flexible cystoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if there is a problem with your bladder.
Paying for your procedure
Flexible cystoscopy costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the procedure. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.