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Virtual Cystoscopy


A virtual cystoscopy is a procedure that uses a CT or MRI to take pictures of the inside of your bladder. Dye may be used to help your healthcare provider see your bladder better.


Before your procedure:

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have had any past bladder surgeries or procedures.
  • X-rays or other imaging tests of your urinary tract may be done. You may also need to have blood and urine tests. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on these or other tests that you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
  • Ask your healthcare provider for directions about eating and drinking before your procedure.
  • Write down the date, time, and location of your procedure.

Day of your procedure:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.


What will happen:

  • You will be taken to the area where your procedure will be done. Before the pictures of your bladder are taken, your healthcare provider may insert a Foley catheter. The catheter is a plastic tube that drains urine out of your bladder. The catheter may also be used to fill your bladder with air or carbon dioxide gas. Your healthcare provider may also give you a dye through your IV. The dye may be mixed with the urine in your bladder. The dye is used to help your healthcare provider see the inside of your bladder better. Tell healthcare providers if you are allergic to iodine or shellfish. You may also be allergic to the dye.
  • You will need to lie flat on your back and be very still while the pictures are taken. Once the pictures are done, your healthcare provider may have you lie on your stomach to take more pictures. This helps healthcare providers see if you have a blood clot in your bladder. Your healthcare provider may also take pictures while you urinate if you have dye in your bladder. This will help your healthcare provider see if you have any problems with your urine passageway. If you have a catheter in place, your healthcare provider will remove it when the pictures are done.

After your procedure:

Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Once healthcare providers see that you are okay, you may be able to go home. You may go back to your room if you are staying in the hospital.


  • You cannot make it to your procedure.
  • You get sick or have a fever.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You urinate more often than usual.
  • You have blood or blood clots in your urine.
  • You have side, back, or stomach pain that does not go away.
  • You have pain when you urinate.
  • You often feel an urgent need to urinate.


  • You may get a urinary tract infection, blood clots, and have trouble urinating if a catheter is used. The dye used in the procedure may cause an allergic reaction. If you have kidney problems, the dye may damage your kidney. During the x-rays you will be exposed to radiation that may cause problems later in your life. Flat or small masses in your bladder may not be seen with this procedure. Your healthcare provider may also not see a mass that is in the wall of your bladder. If you have had other bladder surgeries or procedures, the results may not be accurate. With a virtual cystoscopy, your healthcare provider cannot take a tissue sample from your bladder for testing.

Care Agreement

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.

Further information

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

Learn more about Virtual Cystoscopy (Precare)

Micromedex® Care Notes