Cystoscopy with a flexible instrument

What is it?

Cystoscopy is an endoscopic diagnostic procedure that allows direct observation of the internal walls of the bladder, bladder neck, ureteral meatus and urethra. It is normally used to detect abnormalities in the anatomy of the lower urinary tract or lesions in the bladder and urethra.

When is this exam indicated?

Cystoscopy involves the insertion of a fiberoptic instrument, rigid or flexible, into the bladder.

The procedure is recommended:

  • To facilitate the diagnosis of certain urological conditions (e.g. bladder tumors, stones in the bladder, benign prostatic hyperplasia)
  • To diagnose and eventually treat urethral strictures
  • To access the bladder to obtain X-ray images of the ureters or to place ureteral stents

How is it performed?

The examination is performed with the use of a flexible instrument (or, more rarely, rigid), equipped at its end with a camera and a light source. The images are thus recorded and transmitted on a special monitor, allowing the doctor to visualize the bladder. To improve the view, the walls of the organ are stretched by means of the application of a sterile liquid.

Cystoscopy with flexible instrumentation can be performed on an outpatient basis. The use of anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications should be discontinued or continued according to the guidelines provided by your doctor. At the time of the examination, a lubricating gel with anesthetic action is applied locally, which helps to make the procedure more tolerable. Then the flexible cystoscope is inserted through the urethra. The average duration of the procedure is a few minutes. Complications include urinary tract infections, bleeding and/or bladder and/or urethral trauma.


The main contraindication is an active urinary tract infection.

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