Catheter question

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I've seen some posts with people talking about needing to self catheterize when they come home. Most of the posts I've noticed are with people getting anterior repairs and so I'm not sure if this is something that happens with the anterior repair or if it's more to do with surgery and anesthesia.  Is this something that can happen when you have a posterior repair without an anterior repair?  Just how common is it?

In addition to my prolapse,  I also have problems with my pelvic floor muscles being too tight and it is excruciating to be catheterized.  I don't actually know if I could do it.  I'm in PT now and I am improving.  I go back to the surgeon at the end of December when PT is done.  I'm wondering if I need to make sure I can tolerate a catheter before I consider surgery.

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  • Posted

    I had an anterior repair at the same time as a hysterectomy (and I was last on the list that day so didn't come out of theatre until around 6 pm) but my catheter came out the next morning and it was fine.  The catheter really wasn't a problem though, while I was in hospital - I didn't even feel it there!  Apparently it's got a balloon on the end which they blow up which holds it in the bladder and to take it out they just release the air.  The catheter was put in while I was under anaethetic and it truly didn't hurt at all coming out.  I hardly knew it was coming out when they did it.  Hope that might reassure you.
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    • Posted

      I know catheters aren't painful in general, but for me they are.  Incredibly painful.  

      The urogyn did a quick catheterization during her first exam and it was awful.  It isn't for most people, but it was for me.  She ordered an MRI and a cystoscopy to try to figure out what was wrong because it was so bad.  She thought maybe my urethra had a kink or maybe a cyst was blocking it.  Nothing was found, which is good. She said she thought it was because of the muscles being too tight.  

      I'm in PT because my pelvic floor was in spasm.  The PT says it is almost normal now but the urethral sphincter seems to have a mind of it's own as the incredibly painful cystoscopy was 5 days before the PT said I was almost normal.  I also have some symptoms of urinary retention without a cystocele and she thought that was because of the tightness.  

      I'm glad it wasn't bad for you and I think it isn't something for people to worry about in general but for me it is a big concern.  

      Oh, to be clear... I'm not worried about being catheterized during surgery as I'll be under anesthetic.  It's later that worries me.  

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    • Posted

      Ah, I see!  The only thought I can add is that you'll have pain killers from the op, so hopefully that will stop any pain from the catheter, and I'd think if you got any pain and told them they'd be there like a flash to offer more painkillers.  I wonder if your gynie can offer any relaxants that would help the muscle relax?  I've no idea if that might be possible but I'd tell her your concerns and see if she can reassure you or offer you something that will help?
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  • Posted

    Hi dorryc I'm 7 weeks post op from anterior and posterior repair I was absolutely fine my catheter was removed day after surgery and had so many scans to make I was emptying my bladder ok ended up aving 2 nights in hospital , but apart from the obvious discomfort after surgery I have no regrets what so ever , my life has changed .
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    • Posted

      It's really nice to hear that you are so happy with your surgery.  I can't wait to get there myself!   I still have to finish PT before I see the doctor again but I'm hoping to get it repaired in early spring if all goes well.
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  • Posted

    Hi dorryc I'm 7 weeks post op from anterior and posterior repair I was absolutely fine my catheter was removed day after surgery and had so many scans to make I was emptying my bladder ok ended up aving 2 nights in hospital , but apart from the obvious discomfort after surgery I have no regrets what so ever , my life has changed .
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  • Posted

    No don't think it had anything to do with the surgery, my bladder was just a little lazy and needed help getting itself recharged to empty fully. I had to do self catherazation because my bladder was not emptying effectively. I keep a daily log on my urine output and then shared with doctor and he made decision to help the bladder. I was resistant but did it and after a week the bladder woke up. So I'm doing fine 4 weeks after surgery.

    Best to you!!

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    • Posted

      Thank you, Diann.  That's good to know.  I'm glad to hear you are doing so much better now.

      I just dug up some statistics and it said 50% of people catheterized for surgery need a catheter longer than 2 days.   That's quite a lot.  Hopefully by the time I have surgery it won't hurt to be catheterized (with the PT etc.) , but if it does I'll have to talk to the doctor to make sure we have a plan for it so that if it is needed, it is as tolerable as possible.

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    • Posted

      Yes, the nurses told me the same when I didn't pass the void test upon my release from hospital, that for me not to worry because most didn't and had to go home with one for a few days. It wasn't that uncomfortable to me , just a bulky companion for a few days. It was not the norm that needed to self cath after the original catheter was removed, I just wasn't emptying fully. After I faced my fear and set up a station to self cath after each void , it wasn't so hard or bad. I did it for 7 days and graduated off of it. Lol It helped and now the bladder doing better.

      I'm sure it'll all be fine with you!! Keep us updated!!

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    • Posted

      fwiw, I wasn't trying to scare anyone off.  I know it's not bad in normal circumstances.  If t weren't for the fact that being catheterized was, at last check, incredibly painful for me, I wouldn't be worrying at all.  It really really hurt.  It's because of the pelvic floor issues  I have  (in spasm) and it shouldn't be a problem for people in general.  For me, though, it is a really big deal and kinda scary tbh
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    • Posted

      That's very understandable!! Even though we may all have similar situations with our bodies, they however are different for each one of us. That's what's so wonderful about this group, we can be transparent and share our story and experience with each other. Hope it all goes well for you!! Keep us updated!
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  • Posted

    Hi Dorry, I had A&P repair and have been sent home with a valve catheter for 5 days as I couldn't pee a drop. I was warned about it but thought it wouldn't happen to me. If it doesn't work on the trial they said they would send me home for a few more days and then try again. And worst case I would then have to self catheterise which would make me feel sick, I really hope it's not the case but I got the impression it's very unlikely to happen from the consultant.

    I read on the patient website that a posterior repair is a risk factor for post op urine retention which seems strange given its not the one where the bladder is moved about so who knows? Maybe that was a typo?

    A good bit of advice my husband always tells me is don't worry about things that haven't happened yet, although that's easier said than done!

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    • Posted

      I didn't realize there was a take home catheter option that wasn't self-catheterization.  I could definitely do a valve.  It would hurt going in, but I can get through it once...  self inflicted excruciating pain 10 times a day would be really hard to manage.  I know i would drink less and hold it longer just to avoid the pain and that isn't healthy.  And again, catheterization doesn't normally hurt like that.  It's just what is going on with me.

      While I see where your husband is coming from, I don't agree. If this is an outcome that has a high probability of happening following surgery, given how painful it was for me, I need to plan ahead.  It will go more smoothly if I find out more, talk to my doctor, and make sure we have a good plan for dealing with it.  Maybe even wait on surgery until I've done enough PT that it is no longer painful to catheterize.

      Thank you for letting me know about your catheter experience.  I appreciate it.

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  • Posted

    You keep talking about "PT" - what is that? Maybe you are getting such pain on catherisation as you are way too tense and expecting pain from it? How do you get on with cervical smear tests? I know that is different, but still same area. I only had anterior repair with TOT sling put in place. I took synthetic morphine (Tramadol) for 2 days, or maybe a bit less. Then just panadol. I stayed in 2 nights as had one episode of not being able to pee after initial catheter taken out. So another put in, over night, and taken out next morning. I eventually went myself (800mls) with only around 17ml retention on scan just after, which is completely normal. I would have had the choice of self catherisation, or a district nurse calling home to tend to one that is left in for around 5 days. I gather she would have come daily. I didn't need that in the end. I'm 5wks post anterior repair & only have stitches inside. I don't think they are dissolved yet though. 
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    • Posted

      PT = physical therapy

      I don't think the problem is that I am tensing up because I'm expecting pain.  ​I didn't know the doctor was about to catheterize me when she catheterized me the first time. She probably said something about it being a little uncomfortable.  I wasn't expecting any it to hurt.  I have never had any problems in pelvic or rectal exams.  I had only had a catheter once before this with the birth of my first child and I don't remember any pain at all.

      The urogyn could tell from herfirst exam that my pelvic floor was in spasm.  The muscles were clenched tight, like a fist. All the time.  My pelvic floor just wasn't working correctly.  I think it is often called Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD).  I'm in physical therapy to address it and it is helping.  

      This seems to be a decent website explaining PFD if you are interested in learning more about it: http://www.ichelp.org/about-ic/associated-conditions/pelvic-floor-dysfunction/

      Thank you for sharing your surgery and catheterization history.  It's really nice to hear what it is like for different people.  It helps a lot.

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    • Posted

      Oh what a shame for you. I guess at least it is a recognized condition and even has a name. Hope you can get it to be a lot better or gone.
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