Cystoscopy (Male) – Flexible

This page will provide you with information about a flexible cystoscopy. For further details, you should speak to your consultant.

What is flexible cystoscopy?

A flexible cystoscopy, will check to see if there are problems within the bladder. A cystoscope, (flexible telescope) is used to perform the procedure. It may be recommended to you to have a cystoscopy if you are suffering from pain, an irritable bladder, blood in the urine or recurring infections.

Are there any alternatives?

A scan is a method that may provide information about the problem and its cause. A rigid cystoscopy allows the surgeon to treat a certain issue. This procedure involves an anaesthetic (general or spinal).

What happens during the procedure?

The procedure should only be about five minutes long, during which time a cystoscope gets passed into the urethra (see figure 1). A fluid will also pass through the cystoscope, and into the bladder, to aid diagnosis. The doctor uses the cystoscope to search for problems in the bladder lining. If they encounter a problem such as a small growth or stone, it is possible to remove it through the cystoscope.

Complications that may occur

  • Further infection
  • Bleeding
  • Narrowing of the urethra

Cystoscope in the urethra
Figure 1
Cross-section of the male pelvis region showing a flexible cystoscopy.

How long will it take to heal?

It is likely that you can go home on the same day as the cystoscopy, once you have urinated. You should also be able to go back to work the day afterward the procedure, unless informed otherwise. Exercising regularly is a good way to improve your long-term health and also to recover quickly from the procedure, check with your consultant before starting an exercise regime. If anything has been found during the procedure, your healthcare team will discuss it with you, as well as investigating whether you will require a follow-up, or further treatment.


A cystoscopy is usually a safe and effective method of investigating any problems in your bladder.

References:  EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this page is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.