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Cystoscopy means looking inside the bladder.  This operation is performed for many reasons in urology.  Common reasons include bleeding, difficulty or urgency of urination, a prior history of bladder cancer, investigation of prostate symptoms and bladder stones.  Sometimes patients with recurrent urinary infections also need a check cystoscopy at some point in their investigations. 

The operation can be performed under local or general anaesthetic with different sized scopes depending on the circumstances.

If the procedure is simply for surveillance purposes patients can be discharged in a few hours following the procedure.  If something needs to be done within the bladder at the time of surgery, such as treatment of bladder tumours, stones, or other problems, then patients usually have an overnight stay in hospital.

The operation is usually covered with intravenous antibiotics given at the time of surgery to prevent urinary infection afterwards.

Other minor risks of the procedure include bleeding, pain, infection and a very small chance of damage to the wall of the bladder.  At the time of cystoscopy it is also possible to inject dye material up the ureters to the kidneys to check the ureters and the kidneys for any abnormalities.  This is usually done in the setting of bleeding that has been coming for the urinary tract.