Cystoscopy

cystoscopeI was nervous over this procedure.  Much more so than over my pending surgery.  Because it’s just not right.  I think of the urethra as uni-directional.  Exit only.  I could go on but I shouldn’t have to.  No one reading this blog should be comfortable with this procedure.  Naturally I read the entire Internet searching for real stories.  And I talked to one person, my father-in-law, who underwent the cystoscopy.  But he had the rigid scope where they put you under like they do for a colonoscopy.  My cystoscopy would be the flexible type where they only apply local anesthesia, which I imagined would be a couple of needle shots to my penis.

I need this penis torture to prepare for my prostatectomy.  My surgeon will leverage this scope to view how my prostate attaches to my bladder.  The scope enters the bladder and then looks back on the wall connected to the prostate.  It’s important to understand if the shape is concave, convex, or flat in order to properly cut it out.  I don’t know of all the repercussions, but can imagine leaving in cancerous tissue or making too large a hole.  Apparently this tool is also used to remove gall stones and for other non-cancerous reasons.  This is performed on women as well but I think that procedure goes by another name.

I went in Tuesday afternoon, March 18th, for blood work and an EKG, related to my surgery.  The cystoscopy was Friday morning on the 21st.  My nurse’s name is Brittany and she looks amazingly similar to my niece Cari.  She’s the one who won’t let two minutes go by without requesting a urine sample.  Brittany had me lay down for this, with my head and shoulders propped up to view the video.  I was naked below the waist and she covered me with a sterile drape (paper blanket) with a hole around my penis.  She cleaned the area with some pink anti-septic.  Before I undressed, she gave me an antibiotic to take afterward.  She then used a needleless syringe to inject a fluid into my urethra that would numb it for the procedure.  I expected shots and was greatly comforted by this.  It was still uncomfortable.  It burned slightly and I felt like I was peeing, although I wasn’t.  She added a clip afterward to hold in the liquid.  She then left me to relax and become comfortably numb before Dr. Webster would join me.

Dr. Webster took only two minutes to perform the procedure.  He talked to me explaining everything and I was able to watch the visual on a monitor.  You can watch it at this link since I recorded it with my iPhone.  I didn’t feel the initial entry at all.  Pushing past my sphincter was extremely uncomfortable.  Doctors like to say you will feel some pressure as opposed to calling it pain.  Maybe that’s fair.  It certainly is not a sharp pain, but there is nothing that feels good about “some pressure”.  The visual though, with him explaining everything to me, was enough distraction to quickly get over the discomfort.

Dr. Webster met with me afterward to set my expectations for the prostatectomy.  Karen sat in with us to listen.  I will have four or five insertions through my abdomen.  The largest hole will be above my belly button through which the prostate will be extracted.  The other points of ingress will be for various tools.  I’ll stay overnight and can expect to be released the next morning.  Now that I am home, I’ve had to pee several times.  It stings and there is noticeable blood in my urine.  Otherwise I’m fine.  If I can get enough work done, I intend to go for a run later this afternoon.

3 thoughts on “Cystoscopy

  1. Holy f***! First time in my life I have ever looked at a picture and said “No way am I reading what follows!” Read it anyway, so feel like I achieved something today. Not at all embarrassed to admit I did not watch the video, but thanks for being open and informative on a subject most men need to know about. By the way, the Cap2K Open Water race in support of prostate cancer research is coming up in about five weeks. I began blogging way back a couple of years ago when I first decided to participate–wrote both about training for competitive swimming and simultaneously discovering how many people I know have been affected by prostate cancer. It’s a great event, 2k swim from Red Bud Isle to just past the Mopac Bridge, and a re-affirmation that life certainly goes on after the diagnosis. Don’t know if I’ll do it this year, because I was pretty close to severe hypothermia last year (swimming has to be the only sport other than sumo wrestling where extra body fat is a plus). Training for it just the same, so we’ll see as the registration cut-off date approaches. If you ever have a few minutes with absolutely nothing else to do, take a look at my blog’s earliest entries back a couple of years ago. It was fun.

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