Skip to main content

Health Encyclopedia

Search the Health Encyclopedia

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

You must sign an informed consent form before you have a bladder biopsy. In most cases, you are asked to urinate just before the procedure. You may also be asked to take an antibiotic before the procedure.

For infants and children, the preparation you can provide for this test depends on your child's age, previous experiences, and level of trust. For general information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics:

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

This test is most often done to check for cancer of the bladder or urethra.

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

Bladder tumors. First Consult. 2012. www.clinicalkey.com/#!/content/medical_topic/21-s2.0-1014644. Accessed June 9, 2016.

Duty BD, Conlin MJ. Principles of urologic endoscopy. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 7.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Cystoscopy and ureteroscopy. www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/diagnostic-tests/cystoscopy-ureteroscopy/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed June 9, 2016.

Smith TG, Coburn M. Urologic surgery. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 72.

Review Date:5/23/2016
Reviewed By:Jennifer Sobol, DO, urologist with the Michigan Institute of Urology, West Bloomfield, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

Health
Outcome Data

Outpatient number of visits and charges for Bladder and Kidney Procedures, Level I


Outpatient number of visits and charges for Bladder and Kidney Procedures, Level II


Outpatient number of visits and charges for Bladder and Kidney Procedures, Level III


Read More

Cancer

Cyst

Diverticulitis *


* Has Related Health Outcome Information

Health Encyclopedia

More Features

We Appreciate Your Feedback!
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No
2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No