Your anaestheticoptions

If you’re having sedation, spinal or general anaesthesia, you should meet with the anaesthetist before the procedure.

If you’re having flexible cystoscopy without sedation, you won’t need to see an anaesthetist.

If you’re having rigid cystoscopy, you’ll most likely be offered anaesthesia. If so, you should meet with the anaesthetist before the procedure.

Your anaesthetist is responsible for your anaesthesia and wellbeing during the procedure and your post-operative pain relief.

Ask your surgeon if you can meet with your anaesthetist before the day of your procedure. This way you won’t be hurried or stressed, and can be involved in the planning.

Types of anaesthesia

For rigid cystoscopy, general anaesthetic or spinal anaesthetic may be used. Sedation is often used in combination with spinal anaesthetic.

General anaesthetic

With general anaesthetic you’ll be unconscious for your procedure and a tube will be inserted into your throat to help you breathe. You may wake up with a sore throat from the tube. General anaesthetics may cause post-operative nausea and vomiting.

If you’re overweight or obese, there are increased risks associated with general anaesthesia.

Spinal anaesthetic

This is an injection of local anaesthetic into your back. It makes you go numb from the waist down so you feel no pain during your procedure, but you stay conscious. If you’re worried about being conscious during your procedure you can also have sedation.


Sedation is often used in combination with a spinal anaesthetic. Light sedation will make you feel relaxed while deeper sedation will most likely make you go to sleep so you’re unlikely to remember much or anything that happens during the procedure.


Your anaesthetist may offer you medication before your procedure. This could be to prevent nausea, reduce stomach acid or help you relax. If you think you’ll be feeling anxious before the procedure, ask if you can have something to relax you.

Pain relief after your procedure

If you have discomfort after your procedure you’ll be given pain relief medication prescribed by your anaesthetist.

This can be given at regular times, or when pain starts to bother you.

Print this page to take when you meet with your surgeon and anaesthetist, so you can make sure all your questions are answered.

Going to hospital

What to expect on the day of your cystoscopy.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.