When is cystoscopy indicated in the workup of urethritis?

Updated: Dec 12, 2018
  • Author: Martha K Terris, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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When urethral catheter placement is not possible after urethral trauma, careful negotiation of the urethra with a flexible cystocope can allow passage of a guidewire, over which the Council tip urethral catheter can be placed. This can generally be performed in the emergency department or outpatient clinic with local anesthesia (lidocaine jelly). However, if not easily accomplished on the initial attempt, this procedure should be aborted to avoid further urethral trauma, and a suprapubic tube should be placed.

A foreign body or stone in the urethra, which may mimic urethritis, can be removed cystoscopically. Unless the object is very small and very distal, this procedure probably should be undertaken in the operating suite while the patient is under anesthesia. A rigid cystoscope with a larger lumen sheath and working port allows utilization of more secure endoscopic graspers. The object can often be removed through the large lumen of the cystoscope sheath, rather than pulling it through the distal urethra (which may cause further trauma).

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