A cystoscopy can be performed as an outpatient or inpatient procedure for the purpose of closely examining a patient’s urinary bladder and urethra. It is so-named because the instrument that your doctor uses is called a cystoscope, which is a hollow scope with a special lens on it that magnifies the lining of the bladder and urethra to aid in visualizing them. Depending on the reason for the procedure, patients who undergo cystoscopy may receive just a local anesthetic to numb the urethra or may undergo general anesthesia. Cystoscopy can be used to help diagnose the reason that a patient is experiencing frequent urinary tract infections, painful urination, blood in the urine or overactive bladder. It may also be used to identify and remove suspicious growths and tumors, as well as to diagnose an enlarged prostate.