Background: Cystoscopy, the principal means of diagnosis and surveillance of bladder tumors, is invasive and associated with unpleasant side effects
Objectives: To determine the early complications of rigid cystoscopy and the impact on patients' quality of life and sexual performance.
Methods: One hundred consecutive patients undergoing diagnostic rigid cystoscopy filled in questionnaires including anxiety and pain levels (0–5 visual analogue scale), adverse events, short-form health survey, International Prostate Symptom Score, and functional sexual performance. Questionnaires were administered before, immediately after, and 1, 2 days, 2 and 4 weeks following cystoscopy.
Results: The pre-cystoscopy anxiety level was 2.01. The average pain during the examination was 1.41. SF-36 score was not affected by cystoscopy. The subjective impact on patients' quality of life was 0.51. The mean IPSS increased following cystoscopy (6.75 vs. 5.43, P = 0.001) and returned to baseline 2 weeks later. A decline in libido was reported by 55.6% (25/45) and 50% (3/6) of the sexually active men and women, respectively. Cystoscopy was associated with a decreased Erectile Dysfunction Intensity Score, from 15.6 to 9.26 during the first 2 weeks (P = 0.04). The overall complication rate was 15% and included urethrorrhagia and dysuria. None of the patients had fever or urinary retention and none was hospitalized. The complication rate was higher in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (24% vs. 9.7%, P = 0.001).
Conclusions: Rigid cystoscopy is well tolerated by most patients and has only a minor impact on quality of life. However, cystoscopy transiently impairs sexual performance and libido. The early complications are mild and correlate with a diagnosis of BPH.