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JSLS. 2009 Apr-Jun;13(2):135-8.

Flexible and rigid cystoscopy in women.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53792, USA.



Previous studies have evaluated the tolerability of rigid versus flexible cystoscopy in men. Similar studies, however, have not been performed in women. We sought to determine whether office-based flexible cystoscopy was better tolerated than rigid cystoscopy in women.


Following full IRB approval, women were prospectively randomized in a single-blind manner. Patients were randomized to flexible or rigid cystoscopy and draped in the lithotomy position to maintain blinding of the study. Questionnaires evaluated discomfort before, during, and after cystoscopy.


Thirty-six women were randomized to flexible (18) or rigid (18) cystoscopy. Indications were surveillance (16), hematuria (15), recurrent UTIs (2), voiding dysfunction (1), and other (2). All questionnaires were returned by 31/36 women. Using a 10-point visual analog scale (VAS), median discomfort during the procedure for flexible and rigid cystoscopy were 1.4 and 1.8, respectively, in patients perceiving pain. Median recalled pain 1 week later was similar at 0.8 and 1.15, respectively. None of these differences were statistically significant.


Flexible and rigid cystoscopy are well tolerated in women. Discomfort during and after the procedure is minimal in both groups. Urologists should perform either procedure in women based on their preference and skill level.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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