What Is Hydrodistention?

Hydrodistention is distention or of the bladder through an infusion of saline. This may be used as a diagnostic tool for Interstitial Cystitis (IC). Hydrodistention is performed under anesthesia in an out-patient setting.

During Hydrodistention, a cystocope is inserted into the bladder and the bladder is infused with saline until distention is achieved. A small camera on the end of the scope allows for visualization of the inner lining of the bladder. Hunner’s ulcers (patches) are present in some individuals with IC. Glomerulations (small petechial hemorrhages) may also be present but are not specific to the diagnosis of IC.

The procedure works to increase bladder capacity resulting in a decrease in the overactive bladder symptoms (urinary urgency and frequency. Hydrodistention also has a direct effect on the bladder sensory fibers associated with BPS. Therapeutic effects may last for 3-6 months. Hydrodistention may be considered after behavior modification and medications have failed to alleviate symptoms.

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