A cystoscopy is a procedure that lets a doctor look inside of the bladder and the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. The doctor uses a thin, lighted tool called a cystoscope. Your bladder is filled with fluid. This stretches the bladder so that your doctor can look closely at the inside of your bladder.
After the cystoscopy, your urethra may be sore at first, and it may burn when you urinate for the first few days after the procedure. You may feel the need to urinate more often, and your urine may be pink. These symptoms should get better in 1 or 2 days. You will probably be able to go back to most of your usual activities in 1 or 2 days.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
- Try to walk each day. Start by walking a little more than you did the day before. Bit by bit, increase the amount you walk. Walking boosts blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia and constipation.
- Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, until your doctor says it is okay.
- Ask your doctor when you can drive again.
- Most people are able to return to work within 1 or 2 days after the procedure.
- You may shower and take baths as usual.
- Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex.
- You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
- Drink plenty of fluids (unless your doctor tells you not to).
- Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
- If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
- If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
- If you think your pain medicine is making you sick to your stomach:
- Take your medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
- Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
- If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out (lost consciousness).
- You have severe trouble breathing.
- You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood.
- You have severe belly pain.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You are sick to your stomach or cannot keep fluids down.
- Your urine is still red or you see blood clots after you have urinated several times.
- You have trouble passing urine or stool, especially if you have pain or swelling in your lower belly.
- You have signs of a blood clot, such as:
- Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
- Redness and swelling in your leg or groin.
- You develop a fever or severe chills.
- You have pain in your back just below your rib cage. This is called flank pain.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You have pain or burning when you urinate. A burning feeling is normal for a day or two after the test, but call if it does not get better.
- You have a frequent urge to urinate but can pass only small amounts of urine.
- Your urine is pink, red, or cloudy, or smells bad. It is normal for the urine to have a pinkish color for a few days after the test, but call if it does not get better.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter C842 in the search box to learn more about "Cystoscopy: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Avery L. Seifert MD - Urology