Posted 2/16/2016 9:10 AM (GMT -6)
That would be me.
Yes, I am at #52 of 60 treatments for my radiation damage to the bladder and bladder neck. We did a cystoscope at #43, and it looks like it is helping a great deal.
I don't have extreme expectations, because I was in a horrible mess at the start of treatment. The bladder neck is much better than it was when the decision to do this was made, but it is not yet as "good" as it was for the first cystoscope a couple of years after my ART (see sig below).
The motivation to do this was almost daily bleeding just free flow (pad full of blood multiple times a day), throwing out a lot of scabbing debris, and extreme pain in trying to pass urine. Sometimes with every voiding, sometimes only once a day, but it had gotten out of reason. So the uro did my cystoscope, and I can't really describe the damage. We had done some a year ago. They were bad, but nothing like this. There were too many bleeders to count, and one literal hole through the urethra. I had several catheters and trips to the ER, as I just was literally plugged up.
So insurance approved 40 treatments, although they consider it out of the norm, and because I was showing improvement at 40, but still had bleeding every few days, they added another 20.
It really kicks me on my butt, I get home and on a few days find it difficult to even get undressed to go to bed after the drive home (about an hour drive each way). And I'm in physical therapy for joint issues, so my day is full. It also impacts my vision at night, so I have to be home by dusk.
So, net is that it is visibly working. It is horribly expensive, and I had blown my ultra high deductible and out of pocket (employer insurance) by late January.
Mine is in a single person tube. It take 15 minutes to get to pressure, 90 minutes under pressure, and 15 minutes to de-pressurize. I am very claustrophobic, but have convinced myself this is important enough to brute force my way through the process. I've seen many folks over these weeks panic, have to be pulled, and not return, so that happens as well.
Now, why this instead of cauterization? Where the urethra / bladder neck is cauterized, it is no longer as flexible, and does not close as easily, so more significant incontinence can happen. My uro / surgeon believes that it can only be the last option for someone at my level of damage.