Cystoscopy is the endoscopic study of the lining of the bladder. Urethroscopy is the endoscopic study of the urethra. Usually these studies are performed together as one procedure. Both rigid and flexible scopes can be used to perform the exam. Rigid scopes are generally used for female patients. Small-diameter flexible scopes are used on male dogs. Biopsies of the urethral surface or bladder wall can be obtained by passing the biopsy instrument next to the scope, through the protective outer sleeve of the scope or through an opening built into the scope. This procedure requires little patient preparation outside of withholding food on the day of the procedure. In most cases, patients are discharged the same day the procedure is performed.
The major symptoms and reasons to perform a urethroscopy and/or cystoscopy are: