Blue light cystoscopy with Cysview, also called fluorescence cystoscopy, is a procedure that helps surgeons find specific types of bladder cancer by making cancer cells easier to see.
Traditional cystoscopy uses white light, and it can be challenging to see an entire tumor. BLCC uses a special medication that dyes cancer cells. When the cells are viewed with a blue light, they glow fluorescent pink. This makes it easier for the surgeon to identify and precisely remove all of the cancer during a resection.
How It Works
A small amount of a special medication, called Cysview, is put into the bladder using a catheter. If there are cancer cells on the bladder wall, they will absorb the Cysview. After about an hour, the surgeon uses a special cystoscope, equipped with white and blue light, to inspect the bladder. Cells that absorbed the Cysview will glow a vivid pink while the healthy surrounding tissues look blue. The color difference between the cancerous and normal bladder wall cells allows the surgeon to identify and remove the diseased tissue with more precision than with white light.
What to Expect
Blue light cystoscopy may be done in a hospital under sedation or in the office using a local anesthetic.
A catheter will be inserted into your bladder through your urethra.
A small amount of the light-sensitive imaging solution called Cysview is flushed into the bladder and left for about an hour.
Then, your surgeon will use a cystoscope, a thin tube with a magnifying lens, to look into your bladder.
Your surgeon will look at the inside of your bladder first with white light, then with blue. Any cancer cells that absorbed the Cysview will glow fluorescent pink, which makes it easier for your surgeon to remove them with precision.
Afterward, you may need to stay in a recovery area until the effects of sedation or anesthesia wear off.
Side effects of a blue light cystoscopy are generally the same as a standard cystoscopy and might include:
- Blood in your urine
- Burning during urination
- Bladder spasms
- Frequent urination for a few days
- Rare side effects might include:
- Difficulty urinating that may require a catheter
- Mild infection
- Hypersensitivity to the Cysview medication
Visit with your Urologist
Blue light cystoscopy detects cancer cells in the early stages when they are located on the surface of the bladder wall. It doesn’t detect every instance of cancer. You and your doctor will determine if blue light cystoscopy is right for you.
Schedule an appointment today.
Does blue light cystoscopy detect all bladder cancers?
No, it detects the more common type of bladder cancer called non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), which resides on the inner layers of the bladder walls. It doesn’t detect a kind of cancer called muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) that grows deep into the bladder walls.
What’s the difference between white light and blue light cystoscopy?
A standard cystoscopy uses white light, which can help locate larger, more visible tumors. Because cancer cells absorb Cysview, shining a blue light into the bladder during the cystoscopy makes cancerous tissue appear a vivid pink.
Is special training needed to perform blue light cystoscopy?
Yes, surgeons need special training to use the cystoscope with white and blue light and to use Cysview. The cystoscope and the Cysview medication are both FDA-approved.
Does my insurance pay for blue light cystoscopy?
It may. Medicare covers blue light cystoscopy under certain circumstances. Private insurance companies differ. We recommend you call your insurance company to verify your coverage or call our office to help you determine if your insurance covers it.