Minor Cystoscopy Investigations and Procedures

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-463/2021
  • Departments: Urology
  • Last Updated: 11 June 2021


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information. Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet. It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and the healthcare team, but may act as a starting point for discussion. If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

What is a Cystoscopy investigation or procedure?

This procedure involves an inspection of the bladder through a telescope.  The telescope passes up your water pipe (urethra) and into your bladder so the bladder wall may be seen. You may also have undergone other minor procedures to your bladder and urethra during this investigation such as:

  • Insertion, removal and change of ureteric stent (hollow tube from the kidney to the bladder)
  • Urethral dilatation or urethrotomy (stretching or cutting of a narrowing in your water pipe)
  • Laser Lithotripsy (lasering of kidney or bladder stones)
  • Ureteroscopy (an inspection of the tubes from your kidney)
  • Litholopaxy (crushing of bladder stones)
  • Ascending studies (some X-ray checks on the tube from your kidney to the bladder)

Can there be any complications or risks?

All operations requiring an anaesthetic carry with them a small chance of complications.  Every care is taken to keep the risks as low as possible.  Common side effects (more than 1 in 10 people may experience)

  • Mild burning or bleeding on passing urine for a short period
  • Temporary insertion of a catheter

Occasional (between 1 in 10 people and 1 in 50 people may experience)

  • Infection requiring antibiotics
  • Finding of abnormalities may require further surgery or other therapies

Rare (less than 1 in 50 people may experience)

  • Delayed bleeding requiring removal of clots or further surgery
  • Injury to the urethra causing scar formation
  • Very rarely, perforation of the bladder requiring a temporary urinary catheter or surgery

What happens afterwards?

You are advised to drink more fluids than usual over the next 2 – 3 days (2 – 3 litres per day). You may see blood in your urine (a pale pink colour); this is normal and should clear within 2 – 3 days. You may feel slight pain in your lower tummy for a few days. It may also burn and sting when you pass urine. Some simple pain relief medication such as paracetamol should relieve these symptoms.  You should avoid strenuous activities or heavy lifting for a few days.  If you have had a general anaesthetic it is advisable not to drive, operate machinery, make important decisions or drink alcohol for 24 hours. It is advisable to have a responsible adult with you for 24 hours post anaesthetic

Additional advice

  • Urethrotomy – do not resume sexual activity for approximately seven days
  • Lithopaxy or laser lithotripsy – it is normal to pass some small fragments of stone in your urine. Keep drinking extra fluids
  • Stent insertion – stents can sometimes cause bladder irritation similar to cystitis – increase your flid intake and take regular mild pain relief medication
If you have had a stent inserted, please make sure that you are aware of the approximate date for removal or change.  You must contact the Urology Department if you do not hear anything by this time.
Contact your doctor if:
  • Your bleeding does not become less or gets worse after three days
  • You experience difficulty or are unable to pass urine
  • Your urine becomes smelly or cloudy
  • You experience flu like symptoms a few days after your procedure

Please ask the hospital doctor or your own doctor when it will be safe to resume driving. If in any doubt please contact the DVLA.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Urology (01482) 623015

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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