How It Feels
If you are put to sleep with a general
anesthetic, you won't feel anything during the test. After the
anesthetic wears off, your muscles may feel tired and achy. The medicine gives some people an upset stomach.
If a local
anesthetic is used, you may feel a burning sensation or an urge to urinate when
the cystoscope tube is inserted and removed. When sterile water or saline is put in your bladder, you may feel a cool sensation, an uncomfortable
fullness, and an urgent need to urinate. Try to relax during the test by taking
slow, deep breaths. Also, if the test takes a long time, lying on the table can become
tiring and uncomfortable.
If a spinal anesthetic is used, you may
find it uncomfortable to lie curled up on your side while the anesthetic is
injected. You will probably feel a brief sting when the medicine
is injected. The day after the test, you may feel tired and have a slight backache.
Most people report that this test is not
nearly as uncomfortable as they thought it would be.
Cystoscopy is generally a very safe test. General anesthesia has some
risks. The test doesn't affect sexual function.
The most common side effect is a short-term
swelling of the urethra. This can make it hard to urinate. A catheter
inserted in your bladder can help drain the urine until the swelling goes away.
Bleeding sometimes occurs, but it usually stops on its own.
may have a mild infection in the urinary tract after the test. This can
usually be prevented or treated by taking medicine before and after the test.
In rare cases, the infection can spread through the body. And in very rare
cases, usually with seriously ill people, the infection can be
Another rare complication is a puncture of the
urethra or bladder by one of the tools. This puncture needs surgery to
After the test
After the test, you may need to
urinate often. You may have some burning during and after urination for a day or
two. It may help to drink lots of fluids. This also helps prevent a urinary
Slightly pink urine is common for
several days after the test, especially if a biopsy was performed. But call
your doctor right away if:
- Your urine stays red or you see blood clots after you have
urinated several times.
- You have not been able to urinate 8 hours after the
- You have a fever, chills, or severe pain in your flank or
belly. These may be signs of a
- You have symptoms of a
urinary tract infection. These symptoms include:
- Pain or burning when you urinate.
- An urge to urinate often, but usually passing only small
amounts of urine.
- Dribbling or leaking urine.
- Urine that is reddish or pinkish, smells bad, or
- Pain or a heavy feeling in the lower belly.