You should be able to get back to normal quite quickly after a cystoscopy.

How long it takes to recover depends if you had a flexible cystoscopy (using local anaesthetic gel) or a rigid cystoscopy (under general anaesthetic or spinal anaesthetic).

Going home

After a flexible cystoscopy

You'll be able to go home shortly after a flexible cystoscopy, once you've emptied your bladder.

There's usually no need to wait in the hospital until the anaesthetic has completely worn off.

After a rigid cystoscopy

If you have a rigid cystoscopy, you'll probably need to stay in hospital for a few hours until the anaesthetic starts to wear off.

You can go home once you're feeling better and you've emptied your bladder. Most people leave hospital the same day, but sometimes an overnight stay might be needed.

You'll need to arrange for someone to take you home as you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours.

Getting back to normal

After a flexible cystoscopy

You can return to your normal activities – including work, exercise and having sex – as soon as you feel able to after a flexible cystoscopy.

This will often be later the same day or possibly the day after.

After a rigid cystoscopy

After a rigid cystoscopy:

You can usually return to your normal activities – including work, exercise and having sex – when you feel able to.

After effects of a cystoscopy

After a cystoscopy, it's normal to have:

These side effects should pass after a day or two.

Drinking plenty of water during the first few days can help. You can also take painkillers such as paracetamol to reduce any discomfort.

When to get medical advice

Contact a GP for advice if:

Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department if you feel really unwell.

These problems could be caused by complications of a cystoscopy, such as an infection.

Page last reviewed: 21 April 2020
Next review due: 21 April 2023