Flexible cystoscopy (biopsy or stent removal)

What is this?

This procedure involves telescopic inspection of the bladder and urethra with bladder biopsy (if indicated); we can also remove a stent using this telescope

What alternatives are there?

General anaesthetic cystoscopy.

What to expect before procedure

Please ensure that your bladder is comfortably full when you arrive because it is likely that we will need to obtain a urine specimen from you before the procedure. You will first be asked to undergo swabbing of your nose & throat to ensure that you are not carrying MRSA. You will usually be admitted on the same day as your procedure. When you arrive, you will be asked to pass urine before the examination. You will be asked to remove the garments on the lower half of your body and to put on a hospital gown. You will then be given an antibiotic tablet (Ciprofloxacin 500mg), after checking for any allergies, to reduce the risk of urinary infection.

What happens during the procedure?

In order to perform the procedure, it is necessary to insert the instrument, which is flexible, into the bladder via the water pipe (urethra). A local anaesthetic jelly is used to numb and lubricate the urethra which makes passage of the instrument into the bladder as comfortable as possible. Men often find passage of the instrument through the area of the prostate gland uncomfortable but this is momentary. Once the instrument is in place, the examination will only take a few minutes to complete. Attached to the instrument are a telescopic lens, a light source and some sterile water to fill the bladder so that all the lining can be inspected. A nurse will remain with you whilst the examination is taking place and will explain anything you do not understand.

After the procedure

Once the surgeon or surgical care practitioner has completed the examination, he/she will remove the instrument and will explain the findings. You will also be advised of the need for any further treatment. You will then be able to walk to the toilet to pass the fluid that has been used to fill your bladder. Finally, you will be taken back to your cubicle where you can wash and dress yourself. The average hospital stay is less than 1 day.

Potential side effects