Blue Light Cystoscopy

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UC Irvine Department of Urology offers a revolutionary diagnostic technique called Blue Light Cystoscopy.

This approach improves detection and removal of early stage bladder cancer, often with greater accuracy than a cystoscopy using white light alone.

During a cystoscopy, a thin, tube-like telescope is used to examine the bladder’s lining closely for abnormal growths or suspicious areas. During the procedure, tissue samples may be removed for testing. A standard cystoscopy uses a regular white light to help the doctor visually assess the bladder. The white light is effective for detecting larger, non-muscle bladder cancer, but smaller cancerous areas might be too hard to spot.

With the innovative Blue Light Cystoscopy technology, the cystoscope is equipped with white and blue light, and an optimal imaging medication that is absorbed by cancer cells is also administered. Under the blue light, tumors and lesions glow pink against the healthy tissue, which appears blue.

This level of detection makes it easier for your doctor to see–and completely remove–abnormal growths. With a more complete removal of the bladder cancer, patients may experience lowered chances of recurrence with this technology.

Your doctor might recommend a Blue Light Cystoscopy in cases of:

  • An initial standard cystoscopy detects early stage bladder cancer
  • Multiple low-grade tumors
  • Re-evaluation after tumor removal or cancer treatment
  • Positive blood tests for the presence of cancer cells
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What to Expect

Many patients are able to go home after just a short time. However, you should plan to rest for the remainder of the day. Pain or discomfort while urinating is normal for a couple of days. If you had any bladder tissue removed during the procedure, you may also notice blood in your urine for a few days. If you have any trouble urinating or experience any other side effects, talk to your doctor.

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