How long does it take for gel to work?

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like a previous contributor, I experienced a very sharp (almost unbearable) burning sensation when the cystoscope was pushed through the prostate region. Is this down to the fact that the scope was put in immediately after the gel was squeezed down my penis and not given time to act and provide a numbing effect? I would be grateful for others' experience on this. Was my urologist in a hurry at my expense?

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  • Posted

    I had the same, painful, experience. The gel was put on (or: in) and the camera went in straight after. No delay. I was expecting they would leave it for a few minutes. I did not feel the scope come out, so presumably by that time the jelly was fully working. And I envy all those men who said they didn't even feel it going in. I cringed and had my toes curled all through the procedure. I would've quite liked to have \"enjoyed\" the test, to be able to look at the monitor and have things explained to me. I quite like medical stuff and am a bit geeky like that! But now I worry about ever having it done again (and in fact, they want to do it again in a months time - I will try to avoid it if I can, and try pursuade them to investigate a urine sample first to determine whether another cystoscopy is really necessary!). I was fully expecting this to be one of those \"sounds worse than it is\" tests, but it turned out to be more painful than I was ready for. On a positive note - it is a pretty fast test. Took no more than 2-3 minutes.
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  • Posted

    I had my cystoscopy on 27th April 2011 at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon.

    I feel for these other two gents. My experience was the same, I was told there would be some anesthetic gel, and then I had an incredibly sharp pain in the end of my penis. I let rip an expletive, and next thing I know, the inside of my bladder is showing on the monitor.

    The leaflet I was sent with the appointment said \"The local anesthetic jelly takes[b:82fb336c9c] [size=12:82fb336c9c]at least[/size:82fb336c9c] [/b:82fb336c9c]five minutes to work\" and then \"When the jelly has had time to work, it is time for the flexible cystoscopy\". This was written by an RGN with assistance from colleagues in the Department of Urology, The Royal London Hospital.

    The interesting words are \"at least five minutes\", I doubt I was in the room that long.

    I don't know about the others who have had this experience, but I have raised a complaint against the Consultant, for this incident. I have also asked them to be moved to a different Consultant for any subsequent treatment.

    From other comments about this procedure, on this site, I think this experience is not typical. I think that when it does happen, the person responsible should be called to account. Anyone else feel the same ?

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  • Posted

    I had the gel inserted and within seconds, the camera was in. I was advised it will be difficult where the camera passes over the prostate gland and through the sphincter valve which closes the urethra to prevent free flow of urine.

    My difficulty lasted just 5 seconds or so. I was advised to relax and then gently cough at the time the camera goes through the valve.

    It really does sound as though it depends on the team doing the job. I'm just grateful mine went well

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  • Posted

    I have just had a flexible cystoscopy and - as a qualified healthcare professional - I was left very unimpressed by my treatment. So, in order to assist others who may be about to undergo this procedure, here are a few suggestions:

    Nobody explained the procedure to me, other than to say \"we'll pop a catheter in your bladder and have a look around\". In reality, this involves being laid flat on a table, prior to the medical-practitioner (i.e the one undertaking the procedure) cleaning the external areas with a (very cold) fluid; following on from this, a lubricating-cum-local-anaesthetic-gel has to be squeezed down one's urethral opening. According to the guidelines, the gel should be allowed around 6 minutes to start working - I was given about 6 seconds, experienced severe discomfort but told to \"just relax!\" (which was of no comfort whatsoever).

    Continuing with the examination, no one reassured me, nor did they explain each step of the procedure - and THIS can permit your mind to wander all over the place, causing great anxiety and stress. For instance, I had no idea that water was squirted into my bladder. I just felt a sudden and enormous urge to pass urine and - naturally enough - tried to stop the flow by squeezing the necessary muscles. Once again, I was almost reprimanded for my non-compliance and was instructed to \"stop squeezing and just relax\". The practitioner in charge of the procedure must have known (by my various groans and grimaces) that I was feeling very uncomfortable, but carried on regardless and even invited me to look at his monitor where I could \"look at pictures of the inside of my bladder\". I was tempted to tell him that I had no interest in the pictures - I just wanted him to hurry up and finish; but, in such an uncompromising situation, one finds one's self saying nothing.

    One final word of caution - I was not given an information leaflet; nor was I given any prophylactic antibiotics (which seems to be a common, routine procedure in many clinics around the world). I had (naively) expected to be 'talked through' the procedure as it was ongoing; however, my 'ignorance' was far from blissful as no one bothered to explain any of the aspects. Similarly, I was more than a little fed up to receive a \"What to do after your cystoscopy\" leaflet in the post, a full 4 days after the procedure. By this time I had been passing fresh blood, old blood clots and eventually had to attend my local hospital with a temp of 40C, shivers and burning urine. All in all, a most unpleasant experience for me.

    However, I am writing this NOT to scare people off but, rather, to inform people what to expect AND for you to request your practitioner(s) to give you as much information as possible - whether verbal, written or via a website; AND ask them to PLEASE explain what they are doing, during each step of the procedure. Make sure the gel stays in for 6 minutes, expect to feel like you want to suddenly pass urine; and expect to pass a little blood for the first 24 hours post-procedure. Finally, request that you are given at least one dose of prophylactic antibiotics just prior to the procedure; some clinics also give a second, prophylactic dose IMMEDIATELY after the procedure. From my perspective, receiving such explanations and treatment might just have made the whole experience much more pleasant - AND helped me avoid a feverish, week-long urine infection.

    INFORMATION is POWER - so please read up as much as you can and REMEMBER that (to misuse a phrase) the PATIENT IS ALWAYS RIGHT, especially when it comes to pain, discomfort and anxiety. As patients (or 'clients' as sems to be the norm these day) WE are supposed to be on the receiving end of good, individualised CARE. Sometimes, both WE (the treated) and THEM (the treaters) need to be reminded of this.

    Good luck and best wishes to all those about to have this procedure. Don't be scared to ask questions and have

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