1 February: Q&A with Mr Neil Harris

I am suffering from incontinence and my GP has recommended that I have a cystoscopy. Can you please tell me why this is necessary and if it will be performed under a local anaesthetic?

Mr Neil Harris, Consultant Urologist, Spire Leeds Hospital

Urinary incontinence is a common condition, experienced by both men and women.  It can affect people of any age, but is most common in middle age and beyond.  It has numerous causes and in most cases the condition can be treated effectively with techniques such as simple lifestyle changes, tablets or minor surgery. 

However, if you are suffering from incontinence, it is sometimes necessary to undergo a series of investigations to assess your bladder in detail, before starting treatment.  One of these tests might be a cystoscopy.  This is an endoscopic procedure in which a small camera is passed down the urethra and into the bladder.  It can be performed either under general or local anaesthesia.  Local anaesthesia for cystoscopy involves having a small quantity of lubricating gel placed in the urethra and the vast majority of patients easily tolerate the cystoscopy, experiencing only minor discomfort. 

If you are required to undergo cystoscopy, the option of general of local anaesthesia will be discussed with you by your urologist.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Mr Neil Harris

Mr Neil Harris, Consultant Urologist, Spire Leeds Hospital

What's up Doc? is brought to you in association with

The material published on this page is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.

Click here for the full What's Up Doc? Consultant Q&A archive

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)