Is diagnostic cystoscopy painful? Analysis of 1,320 consecutive procedures

Alexander Greenstein*, Ithamar Greenstein, Solomon Senderovich, Nicola J. Mabjeesh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To prospectively evaluate self-reported pain levels associated with diagnostic cystoscopy. Materials and Methods: Patients who underwent diagnostic cystoscopy and subsequently graded their pain level during the procedure were enrolled. Pain was graded on a Likert visual analog scale (VAS) of 1-10 where 0 = no pain and 10 = excruciating unbearable pain. Local lidocaine gel 2% was used as intraurethral lubricant. Results: Data from 1320 consecutive cystoscopies (929 males, 391 females, age range 15-93 years) between 6/2009-1/2010 were analyzed. This was the first cystoscopy for 814 patients. The overall mean VAS was 2.74 ± 1.51 (range 0-9) for rigid cystoscopy and 2.48 ± 1.53 (range 0-10) for flexible cystoscopy (P = 0.004). The reported mean pain level for first-time cystoscopy was significantly higher than that for repeat cystoscopy (2.8 ± 1.6 vs. 2.2 ± 1.4, P < 0.001), regardless of gender or type of cystoscope. Men reported significantly higher pain levels than women 2.6 ± 1.5 vs. 2.4 ± 1.4 (P < 0.04). The highest mean pain level was reported by men (3.4 ± 1.6) and women (2.5 ± 1.6) for rigid cystoscopy compared to flexible cystoscopy (2.5 ± 1.4 and 1.1 ± 1.9, respectively, P < 0.001). Pain levels > 5 were reported in 75 (5.7%) cystoscopies. Conclusions: Cystoscopy was not associated with distressing levels of pain. Pain levels during first cystoscopies were higher than those for repeated ones. Using a flexible cystoscope is associated with a lower pain level in both men and women and it should be used for both genders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-538
Number of pages6
JournalInternational braz j urol : official journal of the Brazilian Society of Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014


  • Cystoscopy
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Urologic surgical procedures, male


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