Little Rock VA’s Blue Light Cystoscopy helping Veterans with bladder cancer

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May 2, 2022
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When symptoms and blood tests suggest bladder cancer, doctors perform a visual inspection of the interior wall of the bladder using a cystoscope — a thin tube with a light and video camera on the end — in a procedure called a cystoscopy.

Central Arkansas VA is now the only medical facility in Arkansas and one of only a handful of VA hospitals to offer Blue Light Cystoscopy, a revolutionary approach to treating bladder cancer.

“As VA urologists specializing in treating Veterans with bladder cancer, we are always looking for advances in technology and treatment to provide the best possible outcomes for our patients,” said DR. David Lupo, who is board certified in urology.

Cancer found by blue light

Cancer cells glow pink with blue light

With Blue Light Cystoscopy, doctors use a cystoscope equipped with both white and blue light. Before the procedure, a special contrast solution is inserted into the bladder. This makes the cancer cells glow bright fluorescent pink in blue light and stand out against the blue of the healthy tissue.

This results in the improvement of the visualization and detection of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer lesions. Any abnormal areas are then biopsied for confirmation.

“This enhanced imaging procedure helps us to more easily find instances of bladder cancer, especially small or flat tumors, and offers better removal of bladder tumors when they are first discovered,” said Lupo. “In addition, it leads to fewer recurrences of bladder cancer and improved information to use to plan future care for a Veteran.”

Could add years to the lives of patients

Lupo is also affiliated with Ashley County Medical Center and Drew Memorial Hospital.

“This new technology could add years to the lives of our patients,” said Medical Center Director Dr. Margie A. Scott. “We are proud the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System has some of the best doctors and nurses in the country and offers the latest care options to our Veterans.”

With 10 locations, 280 operating beds, a 119-bed rehabilitation unit and a 152-bed Community Living Center, the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System is one of the largest and busiest VA medical centers in the country. Its facilities and programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, American Heart Association, Commission on Cancer, American College of Radiology Committee on Mammography, the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection, and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.

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