Hydrodistention of the bladder is a method which is frequently performed to help set up a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis. Hydrodistention exactly means to distend the whole bladder with water. Water is instilled into the bladder to a quite high pressure at 80-100 cm H20. When this water is released from the bladder, then patients may develop small bleeding points under the surface of the bladder (glomerulations) who are suffering with interstitial cystitis. The method is generally done under general or spinal anesthesia because most of the patients cannot bear the discomfort of bladder filling. This process of filling the bladder is performed by a cystoscope. The cystoscope is a instrument which is inserted into the urethra, the tube allows urine to pass out from your body.


  • The stretching of any hollow organ may cause unbearable pain thus hydrodistention of the bladder is usually done after general or spinal anesthesia in a hospital setting.

  • Patients are generally admitted for an outpatient procedure and most of the patients may leave the hospital a few hours after the procedure. Some patient’s, may require an overnight stay in the hospital if their bladder was ruptured during the procedure.

  • When patients are asleep, the doctor will initially insert a cystoscope from the urethra and into the bladder to have a close look of the bladder wall. They may look for any growths or any unusual signs, Hunner’s ulcers, lesions.

  • They will then start the hydrodistention portion of the procedure first by filling patients bladder with fluid with a very low pressure. The high pressure, long duration steps in popular years ago should were no longer be performed because to reduce the risk of bladder rupture.

  • After some time, the fluid is released. The doctor will then have a look at the bladder wall again, in search for the small broken blood vessels found in IC bladders.

  • If the doctor may find anything unusual, he may also execute a biopsy to rule out bladder cancer, eosinophilic cystitis or other bladder conditions.