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Cystoscopy is a procedure to examine the inside of your bladder with a scope. A scope is a small tube with a light and camera on the end. Dye may be used to help your caregiver see your bladder better.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


  • You may feel pain or discomfort when a rigid scope is used during your procedure. Small or flat tumors may not be seen with a rigid or flexible scope. Inflamed cells may be mistaken for tumors when fluorescence cystoscopy is done. Dye used for fluorescence cystoscopy may cause damage to your skin. You may get an infection, have blood in your urine, or have swelling that blocks the flow of urine. You may have pain when your urinate, feel like you need to urinate right away, or have difficulty having a bowel movement. After your procedure, you may have headaches or dizziness. You may lose your appetite, have nausea, or vomit.
  • If you do not have the cystoscopy, the cause of your bladder problems may not be found or treated. Your signs and symptoms may not resolve and may get worse.


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Dye: If you have a fluorescence cystoscopy, your caregiver will put a dye into your bladder. The dye will need to be in your bladder for a short period of time before your procedure starts. Tell caregivers if you are allergic to iodine or shellfish. You may also be allergic to the dye.
  • Preoperative care: You may be asked to empty your bladder. You may be given medicine right before your procedure to make you feel relaxed and sleepy. You are taken to the room where your procedure will be done. You may be asked to lie on your back. Your feet and legs may be placed in stirrups or leg holders.
    • Anesthesia: Anesthesia medicine is given to make you comfortable during your procedure. Your caregiver may insert numbing medicine into your urethra before your procedure. You may still feel pressure or pushing during your procedure, but you should not feel pain. You may also receive any of the following:
      • General anesthesia: This is medicine that may be given in your IV or as a gas that you breathe. You may wear a face mask or have a tube placed in your mouth and throat. This tube is called an endotracheal tube or ET tube. You are completely asleep and free from pain during surgery. General anesthesia is commonly used if your caregiver needs to use a rigid scope.
      • Spinal or epidural anesthesia: This is medicine put into your back to numb you below the waist. With spinal anesthesia, the medicine is given through a shot. Epidural anesthesia is put into your back through a tiny tube.
    • Monitoring: Your heart rate and blood pressure will be checked during your procedure so caregivers can see how you are doing.

During your procedure:

  • Your groin will be cleaned with soap. Sheets are then put over the cleaned area leaving your urethral opening uncovered. The cystoscope is put into your urethra and moved into your bladder. Liquid may be put into your urethra and bladder to wash out the area. Dye may be put into your urethra so your caregiver can take samples of your bladder cells. The dye will make the bladder cells show up better under a microscope. Your caregiver will carefully check your bladder for problems or abnormal growths.
  • Another dye may be put into your IV if your caregiver needs to take pictures. The dye will help your bladder show up better in the pictures. Your caregiver may take a tissue sample from your bladder and send it to a lab for tests. He may also remove stones or abnormal growths. He may place or remove a stent, which is a bendable tube put into your urethra. When the procedure is finished, your caregiver will carefully remove the scope.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room where you can rest. You will stay there until you are fully awake and feeling returns in your hips and legs. Caregivers will watch you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When caregivers see that you are okay, you may be able to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken back to your room.

  • Pain medicine: Caregivers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease. The medicine may not work as well at controlling your pain if you wait too long to take it.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a caregiver when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.
  • Vital signs: Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.

Further information

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

Learn more about Cystoscopy (Inpatient Care)

Micromedex® Care Notes