Silicon Valley Urologist – Dr. Jonathan C Hu


An underwater look inside the bladder

Explore with Clarity: Your Guide to Understanding Cystoscopy

Cystoscopy, a term derived from “cysto,” meaning bladder, and “scopy,” indicating visual examination, is a diagnostic procedure that might evoke anxiety in some individuals. Despite the apprehension, rest assured that our experienced team has conducted countless successful procedures. Numerous studies have demonstrated that incorporating elements like music during the procedure, collaborative viewing of the screen, and utilizing hydrodistension techniques contribute to a more comfortable and positive experience. 

-Jonathan Hu. MD


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What is cystoscopy?

Cystoscopy is a diagnostic medical procedure that allows doctors to examine the lining of the bladder and the urethra. This procedure is essential in diagnosing, monitoring, and treating conditions affecting the urinary system.

Cystoscopy involves the use of a cystoscope, a thin, tube-like instrument with a camera and light, which is inserted into the urethra and advanced into the bladder. This technique provides a clear view of the urinary tract and helps in diagnosing various conditions.

The Procedure

Performed in the office with the use of numbing gel inserted into the urethra to minimize discomfort, the procedure begins with the gentle insertion of the cystoscope through the urethra. During the examination, the bladder is filled with sterile water to expand and provide a clearer view. The entire process usually takes about 1-3 minutes. After the procedure, patients can often return home the same day and are advised to drink plenty of water to aid in flushing out their bladder. Cystoscopy is crucial for diagnosing, monitoring, and treating various urinary tract conditions, offering valuable insights that other diagnostic methods may not provide.


While cystoscopy is generally safe, potential risks include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Urinary tract injury (rare)

Office Procedure

Home same day


100% No surgery or radiation


The standard for bladder evaluation


Who Should Undergo Cystoscopy?

Cystoscopy may be recommended for individuals who experience:


Before the Procedure


During the Procedure


After the Procedure


Most patients experience only minor discomfort. For those who have had a catheter placed before this is similar. Local numbing gel is used to minimize discomfort.

Recovery is typically quick, with most patients resuming normal activities within 2-4 hours.

No. The majority of people 99% do well. If you do require a Nitrous Gas or Valium you will need a driver.

Some results are immediate, while others, like biopsy results, may take several days.