Complications of a cystoscopy

Possible complications of a cystoscopy

A cystoscopy is a common procedure and serious complications are rare. A doctor or nurse will explain all the possible risks to you.

Urinary tract infection

There's a small chance of getting a urinary tract infection after a cystoscopy.

A UTI is an infection of your urinary tract, which can include your bladder, kidneys, and the various tubes that connect them.

You’ll usually need to take antibiotics to treat a UTI.

Problems emptying your bladder

You’ll be checked to see if you can pee before you're sent home. But sometimes, swelling of the bladder and urethra can lead to you not being able to pee once you get home. This can cause swelling or pain in your tummy.

You may need to have a tube put into your urethra to drain pee from your bladder (urinary catheter) until you can pee again.

Bladder damage

Very rarely, your bladder may be damaged during a cystoscopy. This can cause blood in your pee, which may be heavy or continue for several days.

Surgery may be needed to repair this, if the bleeding does not settle down.

See a GP if:

  • you have pain or a burning sensation when peeing that does not go away after a few days
  • you're needing to pee more often or urgently than usual
  • your pee looks cloudy

Let the GP surgery know you’ve had a cystoscopy.

Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if:

  • you think you have a UTI and have a high temperature, or are feeling hot and shivery, or a very low temperature below 36C
  • you have lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
  • you have blood in your pee that's heavy or does not go away after a few days

If you cannot speak to or see a GP, or your symptoms are getting worse, call 111 or get help from 111 online.

Let the GP surgery or 111 service know you’ve had a cystoscopy.

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • you cannot pee and your tummy is swollen and painful