Rigid cystoscopy and biopsy
If an ultrasound and flexible cystoscopy suggest that there are suspicious areas in your bladder, you will probably have a cystoscopy with a rigid cystoscope. This will be done in hospital under a general anaesthetic, usually as a day procedure. You may also have a biopsy during the rigid cystoscopy. This is when tissue samples or small tumours are removed and sent to a pathologist to check for cancer.
After the rigid cystoscopy, you may have some urinary symptoms, such as going to the toilet frequently, needing to rush to the toilet, or even having trouble controlling your bladder (incontinence). These symptoms will usually settle in a few hours. Keep drinking fluids and make sure you are near a toilet. You may also have some discomfort or notice some blood in your urine for a few days. Avoid lifting heavy objects until any bleeding has settled.
In some cases, you may need a urinary catheter for several hours after a rigid cystoscopy. If larger tumours need to be removed during a cystoscopy, the operation is called a transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT).
Prof Dickon Hayne, UWA Medical School, The University of Western Australia, and Head, Urology, South Metropolitan Health Service, WA; BEAT Bladder Cancer Australia; Dr Anne Capp, Senior Staff Specialist, Radiation Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Marc Diocera, Genitourinary Nurse Consultant, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Peter Heathcote, Senior Urologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, and Adjunct Professor, Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, QLD; Melissa Le Mesurier, Consumer; Dr James Lynam, Medical Oncologist Staff Specialist, Calvary Mater Newcastle and The University of Newcastle, NSW; John McDonald, Consumer; Michael Twycross, Consumer; Rosemary Watson, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
The information on this page is also available for download.