Intravesical instillation of DMSO

What is this?

Instillation of dimethyl-sulphoxide into the bladder to relieve symptoms of interstitial cystitis or similar non-infective bladder conditions

What alternatives are there?

Observation, tablet treatment, urinary diversion, bladder substitution, removal of the bladder with urinary diversion or bladder reconstruction

What to expect before procedure

Your Consultant Urologist has advised you to have a course of treatment with Dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO, Rimso-50) to treat your inflammatory bladder condition. The treatment is normally performed without the need for any anaesthetic and is carried out on an outpatient basis. You may be asked to complete an Interstitial Cystitis (IC) Symptom questionnaire before your treatment If you have not done this already. Six treatment sessions are usually performed at weekly intervals to ensure the best response.

What happens during the procedure?

Treatment involves inserting a fine tube (called a catheter) into your bladder using some local anaesthetic jelly. The drug is then instilled into the bladder for approximately 30-40 minutes. Whilst the drug is in your bladder, you will need to turn every few minutes in order to coat the whole of the bladder wall with the solution. At the end of the treatment, you will be able to go to the toilet and pass out the drug solution in the normal manner after removal of the catheter. During the treatment, you may experience stinging or burning and you may not be able to tolerate it for the full amount of time. However, after the first couple of treatments, this usually improves and, by the end of the course, you should notice a lessening of your symptoms.

After the procedure

Once the treatment has been completed, you will be able to go home. You should drink plenty of fluids (2-3 litres) for the few days after the treatment. We also advise you to continue any medications which you have been prescribed for your symptoms during this period.

Potential side effects