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A cystoscopy

is a procedure to look inside of your urethra and bladder using a cystoscope. A cystoscope is a small tube with a light and magnifying camera on the end. The procedure is used to diagnose and treat conditions of the bladder, urethra, and prostate. The procedure is also done to remove stones or blood clots from the urethra or bladder. Your healthcare provider may do other tests, such as ureteroscopy, during a cystoscopy.

Prepare for your cystoscopy:

You may need to stop smoking several days before your procedure, if you are having general anesthesia. Tell your healthcare provider what medicines you take. Your healthcare provider will tell you what medicines to take and not to take on the day of your procedure. You may need to stop taking medicines such as anticoagulants, aspirin, and ibuprofen several days before your procedure. He may tell you stop eating after midnight the night before your procedure. You may be asked to drink a large amount of liquids before your procedure. Make plans for someone to drive you home after your procedure.

During your cystoscopy:

  • You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and pain free during your procedure. Your healthcare provider may give you anesthesia in your spine. With spinal anesthesia the lower part of your body will be numb. You will not feel pain during your procedure. Your healthcare provider may instead use local anesthesia that is put into your urethra and bladder. You will not feel pain, but you may be able to feel some pressure during your procedure. With local anesthesia, you may feel burning or need to urinate when the cystoscope is put in and removed.
  • You will be placed on your back and your feet may be placed in stirrups. The cystoscope will be will be placed through your urethra and into your bladder. The urologist will look at the walls of your urethra as the scope goes through to your bladder. Your bladder may be filled with an irrigation liquid to help your urologist see inside of your bladder more clearly . Special tools may used to remove tissue or stones. Your urologist may use a special tool to stop bleeding in your bladder. If there are blood clots in your bladder, your healthcare provider will inject an irrigation fluid into your bladder. Then he will use suction to remove the fluid and blood clots.

After a cystoscopy:

After you are fully awake, you will go home. After your cystoscopy, it is normal to have pink-colored urine. It is also normal to have an increased need to urinate. You may have burning when you urinate. If you had general anesthesia, it may take at least 24 hours before you feel like your usual self.

Risks of a cystoscopy:

You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. Swelling caused by the cystoscopy may cause a blockage or slow urine flow.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your urine turns from pink to red, or you have clots in your urine.
  • You cannot urinate and your bladder feels full.
  • Your pain or burning becomes worse or lasts longer than 2 days.

Contact your healthcare provider or urologist if:

  • Your urine stays pink for longer than 3 days.
  • Your pain or burning becomes worse.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a new rash.
  • You have a fever and chills.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

After your cystoscopy:

It is normal to have pink-colored urine. It is also normal to have an increased need to urinate and burning when you urinate. If you had general anesthesia, it may take at least 24 hours before you feel like your usual self.

  • Drink at least 3 to 4 glasses of water daily for 2 days after your procedure. Avoid acidic juices such as orange juice and lemonade. Water can help prevent blood clots from forming. It can also help decrease the amount of acid in your urine that can cause burning.
  • Sit in a warm tub of water. Warm baths relieve pain and bladder spasms.
  • Do not have sex until your healthcare provider tells you it is okay. Sex may increase your risk for a urinary tract infection.


You may be given any of the following:

  • Antibiotics help treat or prevent a bacterial infection.
  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to have another cystoscopy. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.