Cystoscopy: Risks and Side-Effects
What are the Risks of Cystoscopy?
In general, cystoscopy is a very safe procedure. Rarely, cystoscopy can introduce an infection into your urinary tract. More commonly when infection occurs it’s a result of stirring up the pre-existing infection.
Risk of UTI
The risk of a urinary tract infection with cystoscopy is less than 5%. Prophylactic antibiotics are given before and after cystoscopy to minimize this risk. Older people and smokers have a higher risk of infection following any invasive procedure. If a person has unusual anatomy, where the structure of the urethra or bladder is different from normal, this also increases the risk of germs being introduced into the urinary tract.
Risk of Blood in Urine
Bleeding can sometimes occur following cystoscopy, manifesting as pink-tinged urine or blood on the toilet tissue. Serious bleeding is extremely rare. Burning with urination and mild pain are other symptoms that usually resolve within a few days. The test does not have any effect on sexual function.
Cystoscopy rarely leads to serious complications. You should seek immediate medical attention or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience any of these signs and symptoms following cystoscopy:
- Inability to urinate
- Blood clots in the urine
- Severe abdominal pain and nausea
- Chills and fever higher than 101.4 Fahrenheit
- Pain or burning with urination lasting more than 1-3 days
- Leaking or dribbling of urine
- Foul-smelling or cloudy urine
Risk of Urinary Retention
Occasionally, patients may be unable to urinate after cystoscopy. This is fairly uncommon but can occur in men with enlarged prostate <5% of the time.