The London Clinic, 120 Harley Street, London, W1G 7JW

Cystoscopy and Flexible Cystoscopy

Urology Investigations Cystoscopy is a visual examination to assess the inside of the bladder, prostate (in men) and urethra (the water pipe that leads from the bladder to the outside). It uses a surgical instrument called a cystoscope, which is a long narrow telescope that can be passed into the body from the outside. Cystoscopes are made to various designs, but there are essentially two types: flexible and rigid. As a preliminary diagnostic investigation, the initial cystoscopy is usually carried out with a flexible cystoscope and local anaesthetic gel in the urethra, thereby the need for full anaesthesia is avoided.

Flexible Cystoscopy is a short day-case procedure that takes about 10 minutes. It is rather like a catheter (flexible tube) being passed into the bladder, but using a telescope of similar size. The bladder is filled with water through the telescope during the procedure. Most patients experience far less discomfort than they anticipate, and as a result tolerate the procedure extremely well. When bladder abnormalities are seen at cystoscopy, biopsy is usually necessary, and this is best carried out on a later occasion with full anaesthesia.



Rigid Cystoscopy is a procedure to examine the bladder, under a full anaesthetic. It uses a rigid, straight telescope and enables the urologist to carry out a detailed bladder examination and perform telescopic surgical procedures. Typical procedures that can be done include urethral dilatation, bladder biopsy, transurethral resection of a bladder lesion, transurethral resection of prostate, laser prostate treatment and cystolitholapaxy (for removing bladder stones).

For further advice on urological investigations, please call us on +44 (0)20 3651 6065 to book an appointment, with Mr. Mark Feneley at The London Clinic, 120 Harley Street, London, W1G 7JW

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  • 120 Harley Street
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  • W1G 7JW
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