Cystoscopy, also called cystourethroscopy, is a procedure used to view the inside of the bladder and the urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder to outside the body.
During the procedure, a thin, lighted tube with a camera on the end - known as a cystoscope - is inserted into the urethra and slowly advanced into the bladder, enabling the doctor to closely examine the lining of the bladder and urethra. The test can help the physician view areas that don't typically show up well on an x-ray, or investigate concerns detected on an ultrasound.
Tiny surgical instruments can also be inserted through the cystoscope that allow the doctor to remove tissue samples (biopsies), small bladder stones and small growths, possibly eliminating the need for more extensive surgery.
Cystoscopy is used to diagnose and treat bladder conditions and other urinary tract problems, including urinary incontinence, bladder retention, overactive bladder, urinary tract infections, bladder stones and cystitis.
Cystoscopy may be performed as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia or in the hospital using regional or general anesthesia.