Blue Light Cystoscopy

The UNC Department of Urology is one of only a few bladder cancer centers of excellence to offer blue light cystoscopy, a unique technology to detect and diagnose tumors in the bladder. Also known as Cysview®, this enhanced imaging procedure helps oncologists find bladder tumors more easily than standard cystoscopy (examination of the bladder through a small scope), which can miss some tumors that are too small to find with standard cystoscopy.   

Cysview® (hexaminolevulinate HCl) is a contrast solution that is taken up by rapidly growing cells (such as bladder cancer cells) and turns bright pink or red under a special blue light.

Cysview® has been used in over 200,000 patients around the world and helps identify tumors that otherwise may be missed.

In the images below, the bladder cancer is invisible under regular white light (left). With Cysview®, the tumor can be seen under blue light (right).

Cysview Images 

Used with permission of Photocure/Cysview ©

Why is Cysview® used?

For patients with suspected or known bladder cancer, the benefits of blue light cystoscopy:

  • Better inspection of the bladder for cancer, especially small or flat tumors
  • Better removal of bladder tumors when they are first discovered
  • Leads to fewer recurrences of bladder cancer
  • Improved information to use to plan future care for bladder cancer

How is Cysview® used?

In the waiting area prior to cystoscopic surgery for bladder cancer, a catheter tube is placed into the bladder through the urethra and is used to place the Cysview® solution in the bladder.  The solution is left in the bladder for about an hour prior to the surgery.

When surgery starts, a scope is used to inspect the bladder first with a regular white light.  Next, the inspection is repeated with blue light to identify bladder cancer cells.  Any abnormal areas are biopsied.

Is Cysview® right for me?

Cysview can be used in:

  • Patients with suspected first-time bladder cancer planning to have a biopsy
  • Patients who have not previously been evaluated with Cysview at the time of checkups for tumor recurrence
  • Patients with multiple non-muscle invasive bladder cancer
  • Patients with positive urinary cytology with no visible tumors with standard cystoscopy

Talk with your UNC urologist about using Cysview®

For more information, visit the Cysview Website.