To evaluate pain perception in men undergoing flexible or rigid diagnostic cystoscopy.
This is a prospective multi-institutional analysis of men undergoing cystoscopy in 4 European departments of urology. Pain perception was assessed with an 11-point numeric rating scale. Pain categories were as follows: no (0 points), mild (1-3), moderate (4-6), and severe pain (7-10). Assessment of pain was before, during cystoscopy, and at days 1, 4, and 7 of follow-up.
A total of 300 cystoscopies were analyzed (150 rigid and 150 flexible). Men undergoing flexible cystoscopy were more frequently free of pain (58.7% vs 24%; P <.0001). Mild pain (54% vs 30.7%; P <.0001) and moderate pain (18.7% vs 9.3%; P = .02) were more common with rigid devices. No significant differences were prevalent in severe pain perception (3.3% vs 1.3%; P = .25). Patients, who had previous experience with cystoscopy reported similar pain levels as patients naïve to cystoscopy, regardless if rigid (P = .92) or flexible (P = .26) devices were used. Pain decreased to the baseline during the 1-week follow-up after both, flexible and rigid cystoscopy. In multivariate regression analyses, rigid cystoscopy was an independent predictor for not being pain free (odds ratio [OR] = 0.15; confidence interval [CI] = 0.08-0.28; P <.0001), for experiencing mild pain (OR = 2.57; CI = 1.57-4.19; P <.0001), and for moderate pain (OR = 2.39; CI = 1.13-5.07; P = .02). Severe pain was seldom with both devices, and thus, no statistical difference was found.
Flexible diagnostic cystoscopy caused less pain than rigid cystoscopy in men. Patient"s previous experience with cystoscopy did not influence pain sensation. The type of cystoscope itself was identified as an independent risk factor of pain perception.