What Are Common Complications of a Cystoscopy?

Cystoscopy complications include infection, bleeding and pain, according to Mayo Clinic. Infection is caused when germs are introduced into the urinary tract. The most common complication of a cystoscopy is urethral swelling, which makes it difficult to urinate, WebMD notes. A catheter helps drain urine until the swelling subsides.

Unusual urinary tract anatomy, smoking and age are risk factors of developing an infection from a cystoscopy, explains Mayo Clinic. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics before and after the procedure to prevent an infection. Blood in the urine is common, but serious bleeding is rare. Bleeding resulting from a bladder or urethra puncture requires surgery, WebMD advises.

Symptoms of serious complications related to a cystoscopy include sustained burning or pain during urination that lasts for more than two days, chills, heavy blood clots or bright red blood in the urine, inability to urinate, and abdominal nausea and pain, details Mayo Clinic. Individuals who experience such complications, which also include a fever above 101.4 degrees Fahrenheit, should contact a doctor.

In a cystoscopy, the doctor inserts a cystoscope into the urethra after numbing the area with a topical jelly, explains Mayo Clinic. The cystoscope has a telescope-like lens that magnifies the interior of the bladder and urethra. A video camera is sometimes placed over the lens. A sterile solution inflates the bladder, which gives the doctor a better view. In a cystoscopy, a tissue sample is sometimes taken as well.