Rigid cystoscopy (male)
This page will give you information about a rigid cystoscopy (for men). If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.
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.
What are the benefits of a rigid cystoscopy?
You may be getting pain, blood in your urine or repeated infections, or you may have an irritable bladder (a sudden and uncontrolled urge to pass urine).
If your doctor does see a problem during the cystoscopy, they may perform a biopsy (removing small pieces of tissue), or they may be able to treat the problem using the cystoscope.
Are there any alternatives to a rigid cystoscopy?
A scan may give some information about the cause of the problem but a cystoscopy often leads to a diagnosis.
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, including the anaesthetic, usually takes less than 30 minutes.
Your doctor will pass the cystoscope into your urethra (tube that carries urine and semen to the tip of your penis).
Your doctor 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 your doctor finds a small growth or stone, it may be possible to remove it through the cystoscope.
How can I prepare myself for the procedure?
If you smoke, stopping smoking several weeks or more before the procedure may reduce your risk of developing complications and will improve your long-term health.
Try to maintain a healthy weight. You have a higher risk of developing complications if you are overweight.
Regular exercise should help to prepare you for the procedure, help you to recover and improve your long-term health. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
If you have not had the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, you may be at an increased risk of serious illness related to COVID-19 while you recover. Speak to your doctor or healthcare team if you would like to have the vaccine.
What complications can happen?
Some complications can be serious and can even cause death.
Rigid cystoscopy complications
- narrowing of your urethra
- allergic reaction to the equipment, materials, medication or dye
- making a hole in your bladder
- chest infection
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.
A rigid cystoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if there is a problem with your bladder.IMPORTANT INFORMATION
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Last reviewed: September 2022