Cystoscopy: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Cystoscopy is a test. It uses a thin, lighted tube called a cystoscope to see the inside of the bladder and the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body.

This test is helpful because it lets your doctor see areas of your bladder and urethra that are hard to see on X-rays. It can help your doctor find bladder stones, tumours, bleeding, and infection. During this test, your doctor also can take tissue and urine samples. And if your doctor finds small stones or growths, he or she can remove them.

In most cases the scope is in the bladder for less than 10 minutes. But the entire test may take 45 minutes or longer. You will probably get local anesthesia. This numbs a small part of your body. Or you may get spinal anesthesia, which numbs more of your body. Once in a while, doctors use general anesthesia. It makes you sleep during surgery.

If you get a local anesthetic, you may be able to get up right after the test. But if you had spinal or general anesthesia, you will stay in the recovery room until you are able to walk or you have feeling again in your lower body. This usually takes about an hour.

Your doctor may be able to tell you some of the results right after the test. But the complete results may take several days.

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 or nurse call line 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.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Before the test

  • If you are having a local anesthetic, you can eat and drink before the test.
  • If you are having a spinal or general anesthetic, do not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours before the test. Tell your doctor what medicines you take.
  • If you are not staying overnight in the hospital, make sure you have someone who can drive you home after the test.

After the test

  • 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.
  • You may have some burning when you urinate for a day or two after the test. You may feel better if you drink more fluids. This may also help prevent an infection.
  • Your urine may have a pinkish colour for a few days after the test.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your urine is still red or you see blood clots after you have urinated several times.
  • You cannot pass urine 8 hours after the test.
  • You get a fever or chills.
  • You have pain in your belly or your back just below your rib cage. This is also called flank pain.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You have pain or burning when you urinate. A burning sensation 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 colour for a few days after the test. But call if it does not get better.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: August 12, 2016