Bladder Biopsy

What is Bladder Biopsy

Bladder biopsy is a procedure to remove a small sample of tissue from the bladder. The procedure is done so that the tissue can be examined under a microscope. You may have a bladder biopsy to diagnose or rule out bladder cancer.

During your bladder biopsy, your health care provider may insert a long, thin scope with a tiny lighted camera (cystoscope) into the tube that leads from your bladder to the outside of your body (urethra) and move it into your bladder. The cystoscope will allow your health care provider to examine the lining of the urethra and bladder and remove the tissue sample. If your health provider also needs to examine the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder (ureters), a longer tube (ureteroscope) may be used.

Tell a health care provider about:

  • Any allergies you have.
  • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Any problems you or family members have had with anesthetic medicines.
  • Any blood disorders you have.
  • Any surgeries you have had.
  • Any medical conditions you have.
  • Whether you are pregnant or may be pregnant.

What are the risks?

Generally, this is a safe procedure. However, problems may occur, including:

  • Unusual bleeding.
  • Infection, especially a urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Allergic reactions to medicines.
  • Damage to the surrounding organs, including the urethra, bladder, or ureters.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Burning or pain during urination.
  • Narrowing of the urethra due to scar tissue.
  • Difficulty urinating due to swelling.

What happens before the procedure?

  • You may be given antibiotic medicine to help prevent infection.
  • Ask your health care provider about:
    • Changing or stopping your regular medicines. This is especially important if you are taking diabetes medicines or blood thinners.
    • Taking medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen. These medicines can thin your blood.Do nottake these medicines before your procedure if your health care provider instructs you not to.
  • Follow instructions from your health care provider about eating and drinking restrictions.
  • You may be asked to drink plenty of fluids.
  • You may be asked to urinate right before the procedure. You may have a urine sample taken for UTI testing.
  • Plan to have someone take you home from the hospital or clinic.
  • If you will be going home right after the procedure, plan to have someone with you for 24 hours.

What happens during the procedure?

  • To lower your risk of infection:
    • Your health care team will wash or sanitize their hands.
    • Your skin will be washed with soap.
  • An IV tube may be inserted into one of your veins.
  • You may be given one or more of the following:
    • A medicine to help you relax (sedative).
    • A medicine to numb the opening of the urethra (local anesthetic).
    • A medicine to make you fall asleep (general anesthetic).
    • A medicine that is injected into your spine to numb the area below and slightly above the injection site (spinal anesthetic).
    • A medicine that is injected into an area of your body to numb everything below the injection site (regional anesthetic).
  • You will lie on your back with your knees bent and spread apart.
  • The cystoscope or ureteroscope will be inserted into your urethra and guided into your bladder or ureters.
  • Your bladder may be slowly filled with germ-free (sterile) water. This will make it easier for your health care provider to view the wall or lining of your bladder.
  • Small instruments will be inserted through the scope to collect a small tissue sample that will be examined under a microscope.

The procedure may vary among health care providers and hospitals.

What happens after the procedure?

  • You may be asked to empty your bladder, or your bladder may be emptied for you.
  • Your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen level will be monitored until the medicines you were given wear off.
  • Do notdrive for 24 hours if you received a sedative.

Bladder Biopsy, Care After

What can I expect after the procedure?

After the procedure, it is common to have:

  • Mild pain in your bladder or kidney area during urination.
  • Minor burning during urination.
  • Small amounts of blood in your urine.
  • A sudden urge to urinate.
  • A need to urinate more often than usual.

Follow these instructions at home:

Medicines

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider.
  • If you were prescribed an antibiotic medicine, take it as told by your health care provider.Do notstop taking the antibiotic even if you start to feel better.

General instructions

  • Take a warm bath to relieve any burning sensations around your urethra.
  • Hold a warm, damp washcloth over the urethral area to ease pain.
  • Return to your normal activities as told by your health care provider. Ask your health care provider what activities are safe for you.
  • Do notdrive for 24 hours if you received a medicine to help you relax (sedative) during your procedure. Ask your health care provider when it is safe for you to drive.
  • It is your responsibility to get the results of your procedure. Ask your health care provider or the department performing the procedure when your results will be ready.
  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your health care provider. This is important.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your symptoms do not improve within 24 hours and you continue to have:
    • Burning during urination.
    • Increasing amounts of blood in your urine.
    • Pain during urination.
    • An urgent need to urinate.
    • A need to urinate more often than usual.

Get help right away if:

  • You have a lot of bleeding or more bleeding.
  • You have severe pain.
  • You are unable to urinate.
  • You have bright red blood in your urine.
  • You are passing blood clots in your urine.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have swelling, redness, or pain in your legs.
  • You have difficulty breathing.
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