This procedure is done using regional (spinal) or general anesthesia so you will not feel any pain. The test takes about 30 - 60 minutes.
A tube with a camera on the end (cystoscope) is first placed through the urethra into the bladder. Then a guide wire is inserted through the cystoscope into the ureter (the tube between the bladder and kidney).
The cystoscope is removed, leaving the guide wire in place. A longer, thinner telescope (ureteroscope) with a small camera is then inserted over or next to the guide wire to see the inside of the ureter or kidney.
A nylon or steel brush is placed through the ureteroscope. The area to be biopsied is rubbed with the brush. Biopsy forceps may be used instead to collect a tissue sample.
The brush or biopsy forceps is removed. The tissue is taken from the instrument and sent to a pathology laboratory for analysis. The instrument and guide wire are removed from the body. A small tube or stent may be left in the ureter to prevent a kidney blockage caused by swelling from the procedure. It is removed later.