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Cystoscopy Under Local Anaesthetic

Why is this performed?

Flexible cystoscopy is a short procedure, usually performed under local anaesthetic, which allows visual inspection of the urethra and bladder. It is performed for the following reasons:

  • To help diagnose the cause of your problems, for example:
    • the cause of urinary tract infections
    • the cause of unexplained waterworks symptoms
    • the cause of blood in the urine
  • To remove a ureteric stent
  • For follow-up if you have had previous bladder problems such as bladder tumours
  • To examine the urethra and/or prostate if further surgery on the lower urinary tract is planned

How is this performed?

Most cases take a short time only, and are performed with a local anaesthetic. It is mildly uncomfortable, but should not be painful. You will be able to leave hospital shortly after the cystoscopy.

A local anaesthetic jelly (there is no needle) is used to numb and lubricate the urethra and the telescope is inserted, along with some fluid into the bladder to fill it.

After the procedure

You should be able to leave the hospital soon after your procedure.

Potential side effects and complications

All procedures have the potential for side effects. Although these complications are well recognised, the majority of patients do not have problems after a procedure.

There are specific risks with this surgical procedure, and these will be discussed with you before your procedure. As a guide to complement that one-on-one discussion with your surgeon, these include:


  • A burning sensation and/or a small amount of blood in the urine for a short period afterwards


  • Infection in the bladder requiring antibiotics


  • Temporary insertion of a catheter if you are unable to pass urine immediately after the cystoscopy

Very rare

  • Delayed bleeding requiring removal of clots or further surgery
  • Injury to the urethra causing delayed scar formation

If you develop a fever, severe pain on passing urine, inability to pass urine or worsening bleeding, you should contact the practice immediately. If out of hours, please go to your nearest emergency department.


This information is intended as an educational guide only, and is here to help you as an additional source of information, along with a consultation from your urologist. The information does not apply to all patients.

Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.


Urology Affiliations

Contact Us

  • QE Specialist Centre,
    35 Woodville Road
    Woodville South,
    SA 5011
  • Tel: 8244 4105
  • Mobile: 0439 080 899
  • Fax: 8243 2766