Recovering from a cystoscopy 

The type of anaesthetic used will affect how long it takes to recover from a cystoscopy.

It's normal to experience some side effects for a few days afterwards.

Anaesthetic

If you have a local anaesthetic, you'll be able to go home shortly after the cystoscopy.

It usually takes a few hours to recover from the effects of an epidural or general anaesthetic, so you'll need to arrange for someone to take 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 experience a burning pain when passing urine for the first few days after a cystoscopy. This is normal and it 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 when a biopsy is also carried out. Drinking plenty of water can ease both of 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're unable to pass urine more than eight hours after the procedure
  • you develop a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • your urine smells unpleasant
  • you have nausea or vomiting
  • you have pain in your lower back or side

Contact the hospital staff if you notice or experience any of the above.  Before being discharged, you'll be given a contact telephone number for this purpose.

Read more about the possible complications of a cystoscopy.

Page last reviewed: 29/04/2015

Next review due: 29/04/2017