Having a Cystoscopy


Welcome to the Endoscopy Unit

The Unit is situated on the C Level main corridor, next door to the Chapel.

The purpose built unit was opened in September 1994, to undertake various endoscopic procedures.

Opening times

Monday to Friday - 8am to 6pm
Weekends and Bank Holidays - closed


For general enquiries, both you, your relatives and friends may dial directly to the department’s reception desk (by-passing switchboard).

Reception - 01709 424439
Endoscopy Recovery - 01709 427029
Endoscopy Sisters - 01709 424449
Endoscopy Service - 01709 427287

If you need to change your appointment, please telephone 01709 427277.


Arrangements have been made for an examination of the inside of your bladder. This procedure is called a Flexible Cystoscopy.

What is Flexible Cystoscopy?

The Cystoscope is a thin flexible tube (slimmer than a pencil) with a bright light at the end. The Image can be seen on a television screen and you will be able to watch the procedure if you wish. The Cystoscope is passed down the urethra so the Doctor is able to examine the inside of the bladder and the urethra.

Is there an alternative?

Cystoscopy is an accurate investigation to find the cause of your symptoms. However, you could discuss the options with the Clinician.

On arrival at the hospital

On arrival at the Endoscopy Unit, report to the reception desk where your personal details will be checked. A member of the Nursing staff will then take you to the changing area where you will change into a gown.

The procedure will be explained if necessary. Depending on the Clinician, you may or may not be asked to empty your bladder, prior to the procedure being performed. A fresh sample of urine for testing may be required on admission to the Unit.

How is the Flexible Cystoscopy performed?

In the examination room, the Clinician will take your medical history.

You will be asked to lay on the couch on your back. A nurse will be at your side throughout the procedure and explain what is going to happen next. The Clinician will clean between your legs with a mild antiseptic solution, and using drapes, will maintain your dignity at all times. A local anaesthetic gel may be used, which numbs and lubricates the urethra.

The Clinician gently inserts the tip of the instrument into the urethra, advancing slowly into the bladder. Fluid is run into the bladder through the cystoscope, to enable the Doctor to have a clear view.

Is it painful?

No, but whilst the bladder is being filled, you may have some slight discomfort.

How long does the procedure take?

Less than 5 minutes, on average, The time may depend on whether tissue samples have to be taken.

Biopsies (tissue sampling)

Occasionally, the Clinician may need to take a biopsy specimen from the bladder for analysis/testing in the laboratory. A very small piece of tissue is obtained, painlessly, through the cystoscope, using tiny forceps. There may be slight bleeding when passing urine for up to 24 hours after the procedure.

On completion of the Flexible Cystoscopy

You may find it necessary to empty your bladder. A further specimen of urine may be required for testing. If, after the procedure, the urine is blood stained, you will be asked to drink plenty of fluids to clear the urine, before you are discharged from the Unit.

What are the effects of Flexible Cystoscopy?

The majority of patients have no trouble after this procedure. A mild burning on passing urine usually subsides after a day or so. Drinking extra water usually eases this symptom.

Going home

An occasional problem after having a flexible cystoscopy is an infection in your urine. If you have a temperature, pain, persistent burning or bleeding when passing water, you must contact your General Practitioner (GP).

Drinking water can help. 

Produced by: Mrs J D’Silva & Mr R Slater, October 2001
Revised: October 2003, December 2004, August 2005, May 2007, April 2008, October 2009, January 2010, January 2015. 
May 2019, May 2021. Next Revision Due: May 2023. Version: 12
©The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust 2021. All rights reserved

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  • Page last reviewed: 17 February 2023
  • Next review due: 17 February 2024