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Bladder biopsy

  • Definition
    • Bladder biopsy is a procedure in which small pieces of tissue are removed from the bladder. The tissue is tested under a microscope.

  • Alternative Names
    • Biopsy - bladder

  • How the Test is Performed
    • A bladder biopsy can be done as part of a cystoscopy. Cystoscopy is a telescopic examination of the inside of the bladder. A small piece of tissue or the entire abnormal area is removed. The tissue is sent to the lab to be tested if:

      • Abnormalities of the bladder are found during this exam
      • A tumor is seen
  • How to Prepare for the Test
  • How the Test will Feel
    • You may have a slight discomfort as the cystoscope is passed through your urethra into your bladder. You will feel discomfort that is similar to a strong urge to urinate when the fluid has filled your bladder.

      You may feel a pinch during the biopsy. There may be a burning sensation when the blood vessels are sealed to stop bleeding (cauterized).

      After the cystoscope is removed, your urethra may be sore. You may feel a burning sensation during urination for a day or two.

      In some cases, the biopsy needs to be taken from a large area. In that case, you may need general or spinal anesthesia before the procedure.

  • Why the Test is Performed
  • Normal Results
    • The bladder wall is smooth. The bladder is of a normal size, shape, and position. There are no blockages, growths, or stones.

  • What Abnormal Results Mean
    • The presence of cancer cells indicates bladder cancer. The type of cancer can be determined from the biopsy sample.

      Other abnormalities may include:

  • Risks
    • There is some risk for urinary tract infection.

      There is a slight risk for excessive bleeding. There may be a rupture of the bladder wall with the cystoscope or during biopsy.

      There is also a risk that the biopsy will fail to diagnose a serious condition.

  • Considerations
    • You will likely have a small amount of blood in your urine shortly after this procedure. If the bleeding continues after you urinate, contact your health care provider.

      Also contact your provider if:

      • You have pain, chills, or a fever.
      • You are producing less urine than usual (oliguria).
      • You cannot urinate despite a strong urge to do so.
  • References