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  • A cystoscopy is a procedure to look inside your urinary bladder using a cystoscope. A cystoscope is a long metal tube with a lens and light on its end. The scope may be attached to a camera or monitor, and pictures may be taken. The scope may be flexible (bendable) or rigid (hard), and may have a fluorescent (special blue color) light. The fluorescent light helps abnormal areas show up better when a special dye is put into your bladder. The kind of scope that is used for your cystoscopy may depend on why you need the procedure. You may need a cystoscopy if you have pain or trouble passing urine, or blood in your urine. You may also need a cystoscopy if you have pain in your lower abdomen (stomach).
    Picture of the urinary system
  • A cystoscopy may be done to check for problems in your urinary tract (where urine passes). Urine normally flows from your kidneys into your bladder through your ureters. From your bladder, urine flows out of your body through your urethra. With a cystoscopy, your caregiver can check for bladder damage or narrowing of your urine tubes or bladder. Your caregiver may look for bladder stones, cancer, or for an enlarged prostate (male gland). Your caregiver may monitor your bladder after treatment for bladder cancer by doing a cystoscopy during your follow-up visits. Having a cystoscopy may help find the reason for your bladder problems and pain. Cystoscopy can also show if your treatment for bladder cancer is working.


Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.

Ask your caregiver when to return for a follow-up visit:

If you have bladder cancer, you may need another cystoscopy after you are done with treatment. The cystoscopy may show if your treatment worked, or if you need to continue treatment. Ask your caregiver when to come back for this procedure. Keep all appointments. Write down any questions you may have. This way you will remember to ask these questions during your next visit.


Ask your caregiver when you can return to your usual activities, including sexual activity (sex).


  • You are unable to have a BM.
  • You feel dizzy, or have a headache that does not go away with rest.
  • You have an upset stomach, or throw up.
  • You have pain or a burning feeling when urinating.
  • You have trouble urinating, or feel the need to urinate right away.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or you have a new rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition, medicine, or care.


  • You suddenly have chest pain or trouble breathing.
  • You have a fever (high body temperature).
  • You have blood in your urine.
  • You have pain in your bladder area or lower back.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Cystoscopy (Aftercare Instructions)

Micromedex® Care Notes