What is a rigid cystoscopy?

A rigid cystoscopy is a procedure to check for any problems in your bladder using a rigid telescope (cystoscope). Sometimes certain problems with your bladder and urinary tubes can be treated at the same time.

A cystoscopy may be recommended if you are getting pain, blood in your urine or repeated infections, or have an irritable bladder (a sudden and uncontrolled urge to pass urine).

Are there any alternatives to a rigid cystoscopy?

A scan may give some information about the cause of the problem.

It is possible to have a flexible cystoscopy that needs only an anaesthetic jelly. However, certain problems with your bladder and urinary tubes cannot be treated with a flexible cystoscopy.

What does the procedure involve?

The procedure is usually performed under a general or spinal anaesthetic. The procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes.

Your doctor will pass the cystoscope into your urethra (see figure 1).

They will pass fluid through the cystoscope and into your bladder to help them make the diagnosis.

Your doctor will use the cystoscope to look for any problems in the lining of your bladder and will be able to perform biopsies if needed.

If your doctor finds a small growth or stone, it may be possible to remove it through the cystoscope.

What complications can happen?

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Narrowing of your urethra
  • Allergic reaction
  • Making a hole in your bladder

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day, after you have recovered from the anaesthetic and passed urine.

You should be able to return to work the day after the cystoscopy unless you are told otherwise.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

The healthcare team will tell you what was found during the cystoscopy and discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

Summary

A rigid cystoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if there is a problem with your bladder.

Acknowledgements

Author: Mr John Lemberger FRCS and Dr Caroline Dowling MS FRACS (Urol)

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com


This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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