A cystoscopy is done to let your doctor see the wall of your bladder. During this exam, you will be asleep (under anesthesia). A special camera and light is used to look at the inside of the bladder. Your doctor may use a medicine (lidocaine) to numb the urethra. After the exam, you may get a pain medicine suppository.

After the Exam

For 1-2 days, you may have pain. Some people may have pain for up to 3 weeks. You will have pain pills to take. You may also have medicine to help relax your bladder. This medicine may be in the form of a pill or suppository. 

You may have blood in your urine. This should stop in 2-3 days. It is common for you to feel burning when you pass urine for 1-2 days.


  • You may eat regular food as you feel able. 

  • Drink 8-10 glasses of fluid each day to prevent dehydration.

  • Do not drink alcohol within 24 hours of your exam or while taking pain pills. 


  • Walking is okay.

  • Talk with your doctor about going back to work.

  • Do not drive for 24 hours after your exam.

  • Do not drive while taking pain pills.


Your first follow-up visit will be 2 – 4 weeks after your exam.

When to Call the Doctor

  • Problems passing urine

  • Red or bloody urine for more than 3 days after your exam

  • Large blood clots in your urine

  • Temp. by mouth is over 101° F

  • New low back or hip pain

  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine

Phone Numbers

UW Health Urology


UW Health at The American Center Urology


UW Health One South Park Urology


After hours, nights, weekends, and holidays, the clinic number is answered by the paging operator. Ask for the Urology doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back. The toll-free number is:      1-844-607-4800.

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.