Flexible Cystoscopy

A flexible cystoscopy is a routine examination of your bladder which is carried out using a flexible telescope (cystoscope). It is passed along your water pipe (urethra) and into your bladder.

This examination is carried out to find out the cause of any bleeding, pain or irritable urinary symptoms you may have been having. This is also carried out to monitor bladder pathology (i.e cancer) or remove stents from the kidney.

You will not have a general anaesthetic for this examination. Local anaesthetic jelly is inserted into your urethra to make the examination comfortable.

As you will not be having a general anaesthetic (put to sleep) you can eat and drink normally before you have your procedure.

You will not have to stay in hospital after the examination but you may need to rest for a short time before you go home.

  • A local anaesthetic jelly is used; it is put into your urethra (water pipe) before the flexible cystoscope is used.
  • The flexible cystoscope is passed into your bladder and the bladder is very carefully examined for stones, tumours or abnormalities.
  • Tiny samples of tissue (biopsy) may be removed for testing.
  • The flexible cystoscope can also be used to remove a ureteric stent, if you have had one put in previously.
  • The examination is performed in the Endoscopy Unit and only takes 5-10 minutes. You should not need to be at the hospital for more than an hour.


To diagnose and treat urethral and bladder disease.



  • Mild burning or bleeding on passing urine for a short time after the operation.
  • Need to biopsy abnormal areas in bladder.


  • Infection of bladder requiring antibiotics.


  • We may need a temporary catheter inserted if you are unable to pass water after the procedure.
  • Slight bleeding may occur following the procedure which may require the removal of clots or further surgery.
  • Injury to the urethra causing delayed scar formation due to instrumentation damage during procedure.

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