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By Bradley D. Figler, MD, Assistant Professor of Urology, University of North Carolina

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Cystoscopy is insertion of a rigid or flexible fiberoptic instrument into the bladder.

Indications include the following:

  • Helping diagnose urologic disorders (eg, bladder tumors, calculi)

  • Treating urethral strictures

  • Accessing the bladder for ureteral x-rays or placement of JJ stents (stents with coiled ends placed in the renal pelvis and bladder)

The main contraindication is active UTI.

Cystoscopy is usually done in an outpatient setting with use of local anesthesia (urethral application of 2% lidocaine gel) or, when necessary, conscious sedation or general anesthesia. Complications include UTI, bleeding, and bladder and/or urethral trauma.

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