Foley Catheter for Urinary Retention Before Enlarged Prostate Surgery

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A little more than a month ago I went to the urgent care center after a night of severe lower left abdominal pain. An ultrasound was performed and they determined that my bladder was retaining a lot of urine so a 16 fr Coude Foley catheter was put in place which was the right type of catheter but the nurse inflated it so the balloon was in the neck of my bladder. I had it for the next five days and It was very irritating and there was a lot of blood in my urine so it was removed. After that I could not urinate at all and had chills and a fever and was rushed to the emergency room. It was hard to believe but I was never so happy to have that catheter in me again and after it was in place more than two liters drained. They found I had sepsis and I spent the next three days in the hospital being pumped full of Levaquin. Before they released me it appeared that my kidneys were functioning normally again but my white blood count was still a bit high and I was feeling weak and tired easily.

The next day I had an appointment with the urologist and he found that the urine retention was due to an enlarged prostate and that the green light laser surgery would probably be the best course of action but the catheter had to remain in place until they could do a cystoscopy the following month. Fortunately I got adjusted very well to living with a catheter but I was very tired and weak after the sepsis.

The cystoscopy revealed that I had an extremely enlarged prostate that was totally blocking the urine flow. The urologist filled my bladder completely with water to see if I could urinate but after a lot of straining I was glad to have the catheter back in me. The urologist thought that the prostate was so large that the green light laser surgery would not work and I would need the HoLed procedure which could not be done in his office. He then set an appointment for a rectal ultrasound to see if the prostate was large enough to require HoLed and then a follow-up appointment at the end of the month. After over a month in a Foley catheter, I was happy that I was very well adjusted to it and even liked the benefit of not running for bathrooms,having nocturnal leakage or getting up ten times a night to urinate and straining to the point of having a hernia to pee. Other than cleaning the collection bags an maintaining hygiene to keep from getting UTI's, I got to really like my catheter which is great since it looks like I will have it in for about three months before the procedure is done. 

My question is this - how long is one normally catheterized before the procedure is done. I know they say they want to get the bladder back its normal elasticity but how long does that take? Since I have had and enlarged prostate for so long that has caused the urine retention, will my sphincter work or will I be permanently incontinent? Sometimes I think they are just getting me adjusted to a permanent catheter since they won't be able to fix the issue but hey, I've been very comfortable in my catheter and it sure beats having to wear a diaper, and all the other problems I've had without it.

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  • Posted

    The nurse who inflated the ball in the neck of the bladder really screwed up!

    Have you looked into Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) to reduce the size of the prostate.  As I've posted elsewhere, my Greenlight Laser procedure in March, followed by a second procedure to clean out material missed from the GL procedure, has left me with a high level of incontinence 5 months lateer.  I've come to believe from reading this and other boards that the rate of incontinence following TURP procedures is highly understated by the urology community.

    I hated the Foley even though I had it for a maximum of a week, and two othe short term uses.  

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    • Posted

      Thanks Glenn! I'll ask my urologist about that PAE procedure. I think you're right about the reported levels of incontinence though my doctor claims he has only had two cases.

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    • Posted

      Since PAE is performed by interventionalist radioliogists, your urologist may not be aware of it, or may feel his livlihood is threatened.   Google UNC urology PAE for information about PAE.  (There a a number of centers in US and Europe doing PAE.
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  • Posted

    Hiya, I can't help you with the prostate side of things, but I do know a lot about urinary retention. It is rather painful getting your bladders elasticity back. Because it is so used to not having to work, when it has to again you will likely find yourself going to the toiler every 30-45 minutes for a week or two.It takes about a month to get back to normal, and every time you need to pee you should try and wait and extra 10/15 minutes to help stretch the bladder again.

    I now use intermittant catheterisation. Which means I insert a single use catheter in every time I need a wee. It is sore always putting a catheter in then taking it out again, but find it easier and more comfortable then wearing a catheter 24/7 which I had to for 4 weeks. Especially as my bag disconnected while I as in the chemists and my urine leakes everywhere... including all over me!

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