CUH Logo

Mobile menu open

One-stop Haematuria clinic (incorporating a CT scan): Frequently asked questions

Patient information A-Z

What will happen in the clinic?

Your doctor has referred you to the clinic because blood has been found or seen in your urine. The Haematuria clinic is specifically set up for performing tests on your urinary tract to identify the cause of the bleeding.

Please ensure that your bladder is comfortably full when you arrive, because it is likely that we will need to obtain a urine specimen from you before the procedure.

It may take up to three hours to complete all the investigations required in the Haematuria clinic. You will also be asked to undergo swabbing of your nose and throat to ensure that you are not carrying MRSA.

On arrival at the hospital, you will undergo a CT scan. You should, therefore, go directly to the CT scanning department on Level 2; failure to do so may result in a missed appointment.

CT Scanner

What is a CT scan?

The CT scan involves taking a number of x-rays across the body; these are then analysed by the computer to create detailed images of your internal organs. You may eat and drink normally before your CT scan. The scan normally takes 30 minutes to perform and you may, during the examination, be given a drink or injection which allows particular areas to be seen more clearly. The injection, if used, may make you feel warm all over and give you a metallic taste in your mouth.

If you are allergic to iodine, have poorly controlled asthma or diabetes, you could have a reaction to the injection. If you have any of these conditions, you must let the CT scanning department know in advance of your appointment (Tel 01223 217427).

You will be asked to provide a urine sample on arrival in CT scanning.

What happens after the CT scan?

After your scan, you will be directed to the Endoscopy Unit in the Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre (ATC on level 3), where you will normally undergo a flexible cystoscopy (a telescopic examination of the bladder performed under local anaesthetic) to examine the lining of the bladder. At this stage, you will be seen by a doctor and/or a specialist nurse who will confirm the details of your medical history. This assessment will also include measurement of your blood pressure.

You will have some blood tests to measure the function of the kidneys, to check you are not anaemic and, in men, a prostate (PSA) blood test together with a simple urine test to exclude infection. We would, therefore, like you to arrive with a comfortably full bladder so please avoid passing urine when you arrive. You will be given a container into which you should pass urine shortly after you arrive in the clinic. The urine sample will be checked for infection and any abnormal cells; these results will not be available immediately. We will write to you in due course with the results, usually within three to four weeks.

What does the flexible cystoscopy involve?

Diagram of flexible cystoscope, labelled: power source and video out, the eyepiece, devices that can be passed down side channels and a light to see inside.

You will be shown to a changing area where you will be asked to remove your lower garments and put on a gown. A doctor will insert an instrument into the bladder via the urethra (the water pipe leading to the bladder). A local anaesthetic jelly is used to numb and lubricate the urethra to make passage into the bladder as comfortable as possible. Most patients experience some discomfort during the procedure, but the majority do not find this troublesome; if you do feel uncomfortable at any time, you should inform the doctor or nurse performing the examination immediately.

Once the instrument is in place, the examination will take only a few minutes to complete. Attached to the instrument are a telescopic lens, a light source and some sterile water to fill the bladder, so the lining can be inspected. Once the doctor has completed the examination, the instrument will be removed and you will be informed of the findings and the need for any further treatment.

A nurse will remain with you whilst the treatment is taking place and will explain anything you do not understand.

What happens afterwards?

You will then be able to walk to the toilet to pass the fluid that has been used to fill your bladder, just as if you were passing urine. Finally, you will be taken back to your cubicle to wash and dress yourself.

When you go home, you must drink plenty of fluid for the next 24 to 48 hours to flush your system through. You may find, when you first pass urine, that it stings or burns slightly for three to four days and that the urine may be slightly bloodstained. If you continue to drink plenty of fluid, this discomfort and bleeding will resolve rapidly.

Are there any other investigations?

In some patients, on your way out of hospital, it is necessary to perform some additional investigations such as blood tests. You will be directed to the blood test laboratory by the clinic staff if this is necessary.

Other information

This patient information leaflet provides input from specialists, the British Association of Urological Surgeons, the Department of Health and evidence based sources as a supplement to any advice you may already have been given by your GP. Alternative treatments can be discussed in more detail with your urologist or specialist nurse.

Who can I contact for more help or information?

Oncology nurses

Uro-oncology nurse specialist
01223 586748

Bladder cancer nurse practitioner (haematuria, chemotherapy and BCG)
01223 274608

Prostate cancer nurse practitioner
01223 274608 or 01223 216897

Surgical care practitioner
01223 348590 or 01223 256157

Non-oncology nurses

Urology nurse practitioner (incontinence, urodynamics, catheter patients)
01223 274608

Urology nurse practitioner (stoma care)
01223 349800

Urology nurse practitioner (stone disease)
07860 781828

Patient advice and liaison service (PALS)

Telephone: 01223 216756
PatientLine: *801 (from patient bedside telephones only)
Email PALS

Mail: PALS, Box No 53
Addenbrooke's Hospital
Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QQ

Chaplaincy and multi faith community

Telephone: 01223 217769
Email the chaplaincy

Mail: The Chaplaincy, Box No 105
Addenbrooke's Hospital
Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QQ

MINICOM System ("type" system for the hard of hearing)

Telephone: 01223 217589

Access office (travel, parking and security information)

Telephone: 01223 596060

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151