August 19, 2023

How Long Does a Bladder Biopsy Take?

A biopsy is an invasive procedure that takes tissue samples from an organ to look for cancer cells. Your doctor will use information from the biopsy to determine the type of bladder cancer you have and how much it has spread, which helps with deciding on your treatment plan.

You’ll have tests of your urine and imaging tests, like an X-ray or CT scan, before the biopsy. These tests can help your doctors see if you have cancer in your urine or a growth on your bladder but they can’t tell if the growth is a cancerous one, which can only be determined from a biopsy.

Before the biopsy, you may need to fast for 8 hours or more. You should also avoid consuming any liquids after midnight before the test. Your doctor will give you details of the specific instructions for this test. Your doctor will either apply medicine to numb the skin around your urethra or put you under general anesthesia before starting the biopsy. The doctor will then insert a thin, lighted instrument called a cystoscope into your urethra or the tube that carries urine out of your body. The doctor will guide the cystoscope up into your bladder and then look at the lining of your bladder. They may also use a dye injected into a vein or swallowed to highlight areas inside the bladder more clearly.

Your doctor can then take a small sample of tissue from the area and send it to a laboratory for testing. They can remove an entire lesion or tumor if that is necessary. This is known as a transurethral resection of a bladder tumor (TURBT). The doctor can also use the cystoscope to inject medicine into your bladder or remove any tissue that looks abnormal.


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