Cystoscopy is the most important examination for suspected bladder cancer. It allows the urologist to safely inspect the mucosa of the bladder wall and take a tissue sample (biopsy) from suspicious areas, which is then examined in the laboratory for malignant cells.
Procedure of cystoscopy
During cystoscopy, the urologist inserts the so-called cystoscope, which has a camera at the end, through the urethra into the bladder. In modern practices and clinics, the camera is flexible like a thin tube and can be actively moved in all directions. As a result, the reflection device adapts to the course of the urethra. The actual examination takes only a few minutes. The patient lies comfortably on his back. Beforehand, the urethral opening is disinfected and a local anesthetic lubricant is applied to the urethra.
More precise diagnosis with NBI
Diagnostic accuracy can be improved using a modern technology known as narrow band imaging (NBI). At the touch of a button, the urologist can change the light spectrum on the cystoscope in such a way that contrasts become sharper and blood vessels and tumor vessels in the bladder mucosa become more clearly visible. This makes it possible to reliably diagnose even very flat tumors that are easily overlooked with conventional standard white light endoscopes. This applies not only to the initial diagnosis, but also to a possible recurrence of the tumor (recurrence) after cancer treatment.