Postoperative Care for Vaginoscopy and Cystoscopy

These instructions are general guidelines and specific changes or instructions for each patient may differ. Please follow instructions given by the child’s surgeon and CHOC Urology Center staff.

Cytoscopy and vaginoscopy are completed for children for whom we need to see the inside of their bladder and urethra (cystoscopy) or vagina (vaginoscopy). Cystoscopy is a diagnostic procedure in which the surgeon puts a long skinny tube with a camera at the end (called a cytoscope) through the urethra (the tube through which urine leaves the body) to look inside the bladder (where urine is stored in the body). Vaginoscopy is a diagnostic procedure in which the surgeon puts a long skinny tube with a camera at the end through the vaginal opening to look inside the vaginal opening.


Because the scopes used in cystoscopy and vaginoscopy are inserted through the urethra or vaginal opening, no cutting of the body is done during either of these procedures. Patients are usually given antibiotics in their IV when they are in the operating room, which decreases the likelihood of a urinary tract infection after the procedure. The bladder can be irritated after the procedure and cause the feeling of having to urinate more often. Encourage the child to often urinate and do not let them “hold” their pee. There may be a small amount of blood in the urine, which can be normal for the first few days after. Children should be encouraged to drink a lot of water after the procedure. If they are scared to urinate, put them in a warm bath and let them urinate in the water.


Patients start with clear liquids after procedure and then progress to a regular diet as tolerated. The anesthesia can cause some stomach discomfort (nausea and/or vomiting) and a fever the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Patients should drink enough water so that urine is mainly clear. Sometimes spicy foods or drinks with a lot of acid in them—including cranberry, grapefruit or orange juice—may cause some pain in the bladder. If this occurs, avoid these items for a few days.


After the procedure, the child can participate in their normal activities. If there is blood in the urine, have them relax for a few hours and increase water intake.

For more information on how to prepare children of all ages for surgeries and procedures and detailed information on what to expect the day of the procedure, consult the CHOC surgery guide.