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A flexible cystoscopy is a routine procedure to diagnose and treat problems in your bladder using a flexible telescope (also known as a cystoscope)
Both types of procedure involve the use of a thin tube with a light and camera at one end of it called a cystoscope. This is inserted in your urethra (the tube that carries urine out of your body) and up into your bladder to examine it. This cystoscope relays images to a monitor that your consultant can refer to as they perform the procedure. A cystoscopy can help diagnose and treat many conditions that affect your bladder, including bladder stones, recurrent UTIs, and pelvic floor dysfunction.
This page explains everything you need to know about having a flexible cystoscopy. We also have a page on rigid cystoscopy.
Our flexible cystoscopy package prices include the cost of your surgery and all appropriate aftercare appointments.
We offer flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your payment across a time period that suits you. Our fixed-term pay-monthly plans are available in terms of 10 months to five years, with no deposit required. If you decide to pay over 10 months, you will pay interest-free. If you are paying for a longer period, you will pay 14.9% APR.
If you have private health insurance, a flexible cystoscopy will often be covered by your policy. Speak directly to your insurance provider to find out.
*This is a guide price for patients who are paying for their own treatment. The actual cost of your treatment will be confirmed in writing at the time of booking.
These symptoms can be caused by various problems, including:
When cancer cells form a lump or growth, they are called cancerous or malignant tumours. A cancerous tumour can grow and spread to other parts of your body. The main treatments for malignant tumours are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy (or a combination of both chemotherapy and radiotherapy).
A cystoscopy is typically performed using 'white light', however this can lead to some bladder cancers being missed. We offer a procedure called a blue light cystoscopy which has been shown to have better results at detecting bladder cancer.
Bladder stones are lumps of minerals that can build up inside your bladder when it is not completely empty of urine. They can cause distressing symptoms such as lower abdominal pain, difficulty peeing, and blood in your urine. Bladder stones can be treated with surgery performed with a cystoscope. Your urologist will use stone-crushing devices, lasers, or ultrasound to break up the stones before they are removed from your bladder.
A bladder fistula is when an abnormal opening forms between your bladder and another organ or your skin. The most common types of bladder fistulas occur between your bladder and bowel, or between your bladder and vagina. Fistulas are usually caused by damage to the organs affected. A bladder fistula is typically treated with surgery to remove the damaged part of your bladder.
Living with persistent bladder problems can make simple, everyday tasks painful and challenging. But it doesn't have to be this way.
At Circle Health Group, we offer a range of treatment options for bladder issues. To find out more about our services, you can call a member of our team on 0808 296 4745 or book an appointment with a consultant online.
You might be asked to pee into a container so it can be checked for an infection. The procedure might be delayed if you have a urine infection.
Before the procedure starts, you'll be asked to undress from the waist down and lie on one of our hospital beds with your legs apart. This is generally the only preparation you need for a flexible cystoscopy.
Your urologist will then insert the cystoscope into your urethra and gently move it towards your bladder. They might use a special instrument to pump water into your bladder to see inside it more clearly. A cystoscopy should not be painful, but it can feel slightly uncomfortable. You might feel like you need to pee during the procedure, but this will only last for a few minutes. You can tell your consultant if you feel any discomfort.
You will be able to see the images of your bladder displayed on a monitor. If your urologist finds a small growth or stone during the procedure, they might be able to remove it there and then.
After a few minutes, your urologist will remove the cystoscope and explain what they have seen on the monitor. They might be able to diagnose you straight away, or they might need more time to examine the images taken during the procedure.
A flexible cystoscopy usually takes around five minutes to perform.
There is no recovery timeline as such after a cystoscopy. You can return to normal everyday activities (including exercise, sex and work) the day after the procedure. You might experience some side effects from the procedure, such as:
These symptoms should last a day or two and can be managed by drinking plenty of water and taking painkillers such as paracetamol to reduce discomfort.
Yes, it is the key diagnostic procedure performed to diagnose bladder cancer. But having a cystoscopy to examine your symptoms does not necessarily mean you have bladder cancer.
You should only be in hospital for a maximum of two hours for a flexible cystoscopy. The procedure itself should only take around five to ten minutes.
Not always, but some people experience urinary retention (difficulty peeing) after a flexible cystoscopy. In this case, you might need a catheter, which empties your bladder into a drainage bag, before you leave hospital.
A flexible cystoscopy should not be painful, but it might feel a little uncomfortable and give you the sensation of needing to pee. You will have a local anaesthetic gel applied to your urethra before a flexible cystoscopy to numb your urethra and reduce discomfort.
You can return to your normal everyday activities straight after a flexible cystoscopy, though you might want to wait a day or two if you are experiencing any symptoms (these usually subside within two days). Symptoms include a burning sensation when peeing, and some blood in your urine.
If you would like to learn more about this procedure, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.
Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in August 2022. Next review due August 2025.