Test / Diagnostic Procedure: Bladder Biopsy

The purpose of a bladder biopsy is to remove small pieces of cell or tissue from the bladder, which are then tested under a microscope in a laboratory.

To book offline, call our Womens Health centre directly on: 020 3653 2008

Enquiries: bookings.womenshealth@onewelbeck.com

What is a bladder biopsy?

The purpose of a bladder biopsy is to remove small pieces of cell or tissue from the bladder, which are then tested under a microscope in a laboratory.

During the procedure your doctor will insert a small tube with a camera on the end into the urethra, otherwise known as cystoscopy. The tissue collected is sent to the lab to be tested if:

  • A tumour is seen during the exam.
  • Abnormalities of the bladder are found during the exam

A bladder biopsy usually takes 15-30 minutes.

Will a bladder biopsy hurt?

During the procedure, you may feel some discomfort or urge to urinate when the bladder is filled during the biopsy. Any discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.

Why is a bladder biopsy performed?

Usually, a bladder biopsy is performed to check for cancer of the bladder or urethra. The symptoms of bladder cancer typically are:

  • painful urination
  • frequent urination
  • blood in the urine
  • lower back pain

These symptoms can be an indication of something less sinister than cancer, such as an infection. Equally your biopsy might not may indicate something other than cancer, such as cysts, ulcers. bladder diverticula, or balloon-like growths on the bladder. Therefore, a bladder biopsy is only performed if your doctor strongly suspects cancer and has for example, found cancer through other tests.

Before a bladder biopsy, your doctor will carry out some other routine tests such as a test of your urine and some imaging tests, such as an X-ray or CT scan, before the procedure. Because these scans and tests alone cannot determine whether the growth is a cancerous growth, a bladder biopsy reviewed in a laboratory, is necessary.

What are the risks and side effects of a bladder biopsy?

Like all medical procedures that involve removing tissue, a bladder biopsy carries the potential side effects of bleeding and infection, such as urinary tract infection.

  • Typically after a bladder biopsy, you may have blood or blood clots in your urine. This may last for two or three days. You can help this to flush out your system by drinking plenty of water and fluids.
  • A burning sensation when you urinate. This is treated with over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medicines.

Test / diagnostic pricing

Please contact the centre to discuss pricing.



Doctor Referral Only

You will generally need to get a referral letter from your NHS GP, Private GP, or other doctor to access this service or treatment. Find out more including how we can assist you


Self-Pay Available

This treatment is available for self-paying users. If you would like to see more information on pricing visit our pricing and payments page.


Consultation Required

For this treatment you will need to have a 1-to-1 consultation at OneWelbeck first. To book in with our team of expert clinicians or to find out more about the process contact the relevant centre team.


Next Day Availability

We usually have next day availability for this service, please call us to check availability.


Health Insurance

This service or treatment is generally covered by most health insurance policies. You are responsible for checking your insurance policy cover, and you may need a referral letter. Check which insurance companies are covered.

Bladder biopsy specialists

We have brought together a group of leading gynaecologists and breast specialists to form our Women’s Health team. With over 200 years of combined experience, these expert clinicians are the best in their field and are all focused on delivering the very best patient care.