Subscribe to RSS Feed for recent updates
Subscribe to RSS Feed for recent updates







A patient, NOT a physician perspective.

This List was sent in by a man who had undergone Cryotherapy and felt that his experience would be helpful to anyone following him.

The following items - described in detail below: Ice bag, elliptical donut pillow, 2000ml overnight urine collection bag, two 1000ml leg bags, two plastic carabiners, cotton line, two catheter holders, two 14" zippers, two loose sweat pants, folding reacher, 1/8" bungie cord, fleece or silk for a scrotal support, Corn Starch, device to aid in putting on of socks.

Ice bag - the kind made of rubberized material with and screw top large enough for ice cubes. This is used to maintain icy temperature on the scrotum and perineum. The scrotum and perineum are prone to swelling due to being in a dependent position to the insertion sites of the cryosurgery. I came back from surgery with a melted ice container laying against my perineum. I don't know for sure that, if the nursing staff had been vigilant directly after surgery in keeping the ice pressed against my perineum, it might have helped reduce the swelling of scrotum and perineum. When I became aware of the melted ice, I was offered only a glove filled with ice. I could have used the ice bag described above.

Elliptical donut pillow - 18 1/2 '' X 15 " wide with a hole 8" X 5 " and 2 1/2 " to 3 " high; made of molded foam or foam shaped by some sharp tool into an elliptical shape. The blow up donut pillows are too hard and not large enough. I found that this pillow should be covered with a thin loose fitting slip cover with four handles evenly spaced, large enough to hook with ones foot while under the bed covers and to carry when transporting. Dana Vaughn of Dr. Bahn's office supplied this pillow. She even came to the hospital to deliver this needed item. I tried to purchase another pillow but found that such a purchase was not available for retail customers. The pillow supplied by Dr. Bahn's office came from Central Supply at the hospital. I used it to sleep with while placed between my knees and to sit on when in vehicles, wheelchairs and airplane seats. I had additional one made for by O'keefe Foam Products, 2101 W. Main, Medford, 541-772-4457. This item was so useful that I wanted a back up if this procedure ever became necessary again. I would not have been able to travel without the above pillow. It was ESSENTIAL. As of 18May06, I found a source for the molded foam elliptical donut pillow as described above. Check out Johnston Orthopedic and Medical Supplies, Inc., (510) 843-2488 Ext. 25, 2801 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705. This product goes by the name of Ring Cushion made by DMI for $ 18.95.

Urine collection system - bring along one 2000ml overnight bag and two 1000ml leg bags. The leg bags will be packaged with extension tubing that will connect directly to the indwelling catheter. The extension tubing will have to be cut to the right length. Bring two bags because one may leak or become damaged. A leg bag will be attached to the calf area. The bag that I got from the hospital was a thigh bag which could end up not in a dependent position to the bladder. Gravity would not be assisting in draining the bladder. Plus, a thigh bag may be able to hold only 500ml. I used two plastic carabiners and a cotton line to hang the 2000ml bag from my shoulder when walking around the motel room. To secure the indwelling catheter to my thigh and to keep the collection bag from pulling on the indwelling catheter I used a catheter holder. This is a hook and loop stretchy device that wraps around thigh and secures the indwelling catheter. I brought two of them with me in case one needed washing. Directly following surgery, the catheter was taped to one of my thighs. It turned out to be the wrong thigh. I found that securing the catheter to the opposite thigh was more comfortable.

To facilitate using a 1000ml leg bag and the 2000ml over night bag I had 14'' zippers sewn in the medial seams of two pairs of loose fitting sweat pants. I wasn't sure on which leg I would strap the leg bag. I also took out the elastic at the cuffs to facilitate getting my feet in and out, anything to not have to bend over.

Also to keep from bending over and putting pressure on the perineum, scrotum and catheter I used a reacher. These can be purchased at any medical supply provider. I would suggest the longest available and perhaps a foldling one as this makes it easy to put in luggage. I got one off the web. ERGOTEXPLUS was the brand name. I attached a length of 1/8" width bungie cord so that I could hang it from my shoulder, thereby increasing the chance that I would always have it with me.

My most memorable and uncomfortable problem was the ever increasing size of my scrotum. Within one day of the surgery my scrotum grew to the size of a softball, blue in color and heavy with skin that was exquisitely tender. The standard athletic supporter was made of a material that was too rough and left no exit for the indwelling foley catheter. I fashioned a scrotal support out fleece material. Probably using silk would have been an improvement. Silk would have retained less heat. Probably due the increased blood flow in the scrotum there was more sweating between the scrotum and the thighs. This caused considerable irritation as the scrotum was chaffed when ambulating or changing position. To decrease this irritation I used corn starch liberally and frequently as a lubricant between the scrotum and thigh surfaces. It provided a temporary but needed relief.

I would suggest the purchase of a device to help with the putting on of socks. I purchased mine over the internet. Sewing of loops on the back of ones slippers that could be caught by the reacher helped.

Prior to going to Ventura, CA from Ashland, OR for the focal cryosurgery, I had met with a Medford, OR urologist, Eric Martin MD, and secured his agreement to provide urological services as a follow up to the surgery. I presented to the urologist in Ventura a copy of the above visit. That way the Ventura urologist supplied a report to the local urologist, a doctor to doctor report. I didn't remove the indwelling catheter till I had secured a follow-up visit with Dr. Martin that would occur on the same day, that turned out to be day eleven post surgery. If I wasn't able to pee following removing the catheter, I wanted a physician appointment already established.

I could have removed the catheter seven days post surgery. My scrotum and penis were back to normal size three and half weeks post surgery.

Pay close attention any emerging bowel constipation. You don't need to provide any unnecessary pressure as a result of a full or swollen rectum. I made sure that I took the MOM offered and ate foods that promoted easy bowel movements.

Probably the MOST IMPORTANT suggestion: Do not go through this procedure without someone to be at your side and available to help. I went alone to Ventura, CA and nearly was not able to get back to Ashland in the time frame established prior to surgery. It was a real struggle following surgery to get food and take care of myself following the next day discharge to a motel room. The flight was very stressful. I had to call the airlines and arrange for wheelchair support. I would suggest this be arrange prior to the surgery. Once I was seated on the aircraft, it would have been painful to get up and down.