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Bladder biopsy

Bladder biopsy is a procedure to remove a small sample of the lining of the bladder to make a diagnosis of a possible urological problem - usually cancer or precancerous change. This is done through the urethra under general anaesthetic and usually IV antibiotics are given at the time.

A cystoscope is passed into the bladder through the urethra and a sample is taken using a small pair of biopsy forceps. This causes minor bleeding which is coagulated at the time through the cystoscope.  The samples are placed in formalin for pathology analysis in the lab.

The procedure is generally safe, but can cause bleeding afterwards, infection, or very rarely, a hole in the bladder if the bladder is very thin. The treatment for this is usually to leave a catheter in the bladder for one week, during which the hole usually heals on its own.

Patients are usually able to go home on the same day of surgery after a biopsy, and return to see the surgeon for the results within a week.