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Cystoscopy - Recovering from a cystoscopy

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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The type of anaesthetic that's used will affect how long it takes to recover from a cystoscopy. It is also normal to experience some side effects for a few days afterwards.

Anaesthetic

If you have a local anaesthetic before a cystoscopy, you will be able to go home when the procedure has finished.

If you have a epidural or general anaesthetic, it usually takes a few hours to recover from its effects, so you'll need to arrange for someone to accompany you home. You should rest for 24 hours and avoid driving, operating complex or heavy machinery and drinking alcohol for 48 hours.

Side effects

Most people will experience a burning pain when passing urine during the first few days after a cystoscopy. This is normal and should stop within a few days.

Having blood in your urine or bleeding from your urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body) is also common in the first few days after a cystoscopy, particularly in cases where a biopsy is also carried out. Drinking plenty of water can help ease both these symptoms.

You should only be concerned if:

  • your urine becomes so bloody that you can't see through it
  • you notice clots or tissue in your urine
  • you experience severe pain while urinating
  • pain and bleeding lasts more than a few days
  • you are unable to pass urine more than eight hours after the procedure
  • you develop a high temperature (fever) of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above
  • your urine smells unpleasant
  • you have nausea or vomiting
  • you have pain in your lower back or side

If you notice any of the above, contact the hospital staff for advice (you'll be given a contact telephone number before you're discharged for this purpose).

Read more about complications of a cystoscopy.

Medical Review: June 09, 2013
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