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Are you awake during a cystoscopy?

When undergoing a cystoscopy, do you receive any anesthesia? Does the anesthesia numb the area or are you put to sleep?

  1. You are generally awake for this procedure. You will receive a local anesthesia that numbs the urethra, which is the passage used for the tube to pass through into the bladder. The procedure is very quick and relatively pain free.

    1. Male. I had two cystoscopies. Both while I was fully awake. Neither were painful or uncomfortable.

      I won’t lie, I thought I would freak out when I saw the equipment and knew where they were planning on putting that equipment. Men are a bit funny about putting things, well, you know where.

      But the process is painless and easy. In my case, they simply squeezed some anesthetic gel into the urethra with a small syringe (relax – not with a needle – but a small plastic nozzle.) They gently clamped off the penis and waited as the gel liquifies and settles down the length of the urethra, effectively numbing it completely. Then they insert the cystoscope in the urethra and push it up into the bladder. You can feel a bit of pressure (again – not uncomfortable or painful in the least).

      That’s it.

      No fuss.

      Some muss – as urine will seep out along with some of the anesthetic gel.

      When you’re done you just walk out.

      While it’s not something I’d pay to have done regularly, it wasn’t anything to shy away from.

      1. I am always put to sleep during my cystoscopies and do not feel anything.

        1. I was fully awake when I had my Cystoscopy. I won’t lie, it was extremely painful to the point I had tears in my eyes. It felt like it took forever for the procedure but I think it took less than 10 minutes. I dread going in for my next one.

          1. , I can see how the pain would make you dread it. Sorry that you had to experience that. Have you told your medical team that it was painful? I wonder if there's anything they can do to help make the next one go smoother. -Sarah (BladderCancer.net Team Member)

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