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Cystoscopy

Risks continued...

You may have a mild infection in the urinary tract after cystoscopy. 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 circumstances, usually with seriously ill people, the infection can be life-threatening.

Another rare complication is a puncture of the urethra or bladder by one of the instruments, which requires surgery to repair.

After the test

After the test, you may need to urinate frequently, with some burning during and after urination for a day or two. Drink lots of fluids to help minimize the burning and to prevent a urinary tract infection.

A pinkish tinge to the urine is common for several days after cystoscopy, particularly if a biopsy was performed. But call your doctor immediately if:

  • Your urine remains red or you see blood clots after you have urinated several times.
  • You have not been able to urinate 8 hours after the test.
  • You have a fever, chills, or severe pain in your flank or belly. These may be signs of a kidney infection.
  • You have symptoms of a urinary tract infection. These symptoms include:
    • Pain or burning upon urination.
    • An urge to urinate frequently, but usually passing only small quantities of urine.
    • Dribbling or leakage of urine.
    • Urine that is reddish or pinkish, foul-smelling, or cloudy.
    • Pain or a feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen.

Results

Cystoscopy is a test that allows the doctor to look at the inside of the bladder camera.gif and the urethra. Your doctor may be able to talk to you about some of the results right after the cystoscopy. The results of a biopsy usually take several days to be available.

Cystoscopy
Normal:

The urethra, bladder, and ureters are normal.

There are no polyps or other abnormal tissues, swelling, bleeding, narrow areas (strictures), or structural abnormalities.

Abnormal:

There is swelling or narrowing of the urethra because of previous infections or an enlarged prostate gland camera.gif.

There are bladder tumors (cancerous or benign), polyps, ulcers, urinary stones, or inflammation of the bladder walls.

Abnormalities in the structure of the urinary tract present since birth (congenital) are seen.

In a woman, pelvic organ prolapse is present.

What Affects the Test

A cystoscopy is usually not done if you have an infection of the bladder, prostate gland, or urethra.

What To Think About

Other X-ray tests, such as retrograde pyelography or cystourethrography, may also be done during cystoscopy.

To learn more, see:

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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