painful burning 6 months after TuRP

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My father is 58 years old and underwent a TuRP surgery for the treatment of BPH on Oct. 17th 2019. He was let go 3 days after with an impression of a successful surgery (voiding is good without residual and flow is fantastic). He had one UTI 2 weeks post-op which he had to be hospitalized for. 6 months in and he never been able to go back to his normal life as he is suffering from constant burning pain in the bladder shooting down all the way to the tip of his pennis. Had so many test and urine cultures all negative .. tried so many pain killers and antibiotics with no improvement. One urologist suggested that his urine's ph is high and prescribed him Vitamin C pills which gave him comfort for two days and then back to the same constant pain. Any idea for what could be the reason? Any one with similar experience?

P.S: he has a history or lower back pain with herniated discs L4 and L3 I think. Any help is much appreciated to get him and the family out of this nightmare and misery really!

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    My experience is very different. I was on Foley catheters for 3 months prior to my TURP. Although my prostate was enlarged and was shown, via a cystoscopy, to be the primary cause of 100% urine retention (nothing coming out. I did have severe bladder spasms (probably for years) as I had to urinate urgently even with a completely empty bladder. Where I was, we were discharged after the TURP the very same day with a modified Foley catheter and started bleeding (a lot) the 4th day out. Had the catheter removed on day 5, as planned. Here was what I experienced, post op:

    1. Shortened flow -- Only a 3-5 seconds (rarely more) of flow at each time. My Urologist said that I was emptying my bladder with that but I'm not 100% sure since I sometimes have to go again a few minutes later.
    2. Burning urinary pain: -- Unlike your father, this is ONLY when I actually begin to urinate. Starts off slow but becomes really painful right at the end. This appears to be in the penis, BTW, not elsewhere.
    3. Slamming or Water Hammer Effect -- When the flow stopped, there was this "SLAM!" that felt like my testicles were going to wind up in my lap (the urologist wanted me to take photos if that happened). This side-effect went AWAY!! Just a few days before I had a Ginsu cystoscopy appointment, I passed another blood clot (at week 6-7) and this issue resolved itself after that. This left the above two issues at 10.5 weeks. I can live with the shortened pee-time, but the burning pain is still an issue.

    As far as infections go, this whole thing started with an infection back in October of 2019 and, without exception, every time they tested me with cultures, etc., I had an infection and was prescibed somewhat nasty drugs to deal with it (CIPRO: see some discussions here on CIPRO). At one point, I asked what the bacteria was and was told: enterobacter cloacae. This was really bad as the outcome is usually several month in the ICU or death. Anyway, worried that I still had an infection lingering, I asked the urologist to give me Septra (instead of CIPRO) which is supposed to deal with that specific bacteria or at least another culture. This was at 5+ weeks (post-TURP). The culture was clean. So, I'm sitting at 10+ weeks and still experiencing BURNING pain but I have no infection. On the other hand, this is ONLY when urinating and short-lived so I almost can get used to it.

    At about 7 weeks, the urologist gave me that cystoscopy and was supposed to remove scar tissue and clots but the pain-to-benefit ratio was pretty severe and he had to stop (full-body convulsions). He said that I was still full of blood clots and damaged skin and had a few more months of healing.

    The only thing I can suggest is to get a second opinion from a different urologist. Have him do a cystoscopy so he can not only see, but show your dad exactly what things look like all the way up and into the bladder.

    I'm sorry that I can't be of more help and that I didn't have the exact same experience as your father, but maybe someone else here can help better. I'd definitely get a 2nd opinion, especially if the first urologist can't seem to find the issue nor come up with a plan to tackle this.

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  • Posted


    A few thoughts.

    Vitamin C powder added to drinks will lower (acidify) the urine PH and can kill of bacteria. D-Mannose (powder) is the sugar from cranberries and also improves bladder irritation issues. I have taken both and had no UTI issues after my TURP. The fact that your dad did get some relief from the vitamin C suggests that it did kill off some bacteria in the bladder or urinary tract. Maybe he didn't take enough. When I have taken the vitamin C powder to kill off urinary bacteria I took several thousand mg per day, which seems like a lot, but it worked. And, I took it for months. Low level bacterial infections can be stubborn and usually don't show up on standard urine tests. These test can also be effected by vitamin C, so you may have to self medicate here, as I did.

    There are nerves that connect the spine and the bladder and I have read about some treatments that use electrical stimulation of these nerves to help with overactive bladder, so it is possible that the spine issues may be effecting the urinary issues - worth asking some questions - possibly get referred to a neurologist.

    Finally, there are no easy answers to urinary issues as this is a very complicated area. Lots of moving parts all going on at the same time, and you may get different answers to your questions from different urologists. In other words, there is a lot of guessing going on in this field.


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  • Posted

    Many thanks for your reply and thoughts. He is still on this vitamin C tablets it is called ultra vitamin C 500 mg (once a day) -> should I get him on a more concentrated dose?

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    • Posted

      I took several thousand mg of C each day to knock out the bladder issues. I was using the powdered version available from Amazon or many stores. 500mg may not be enough - who knows? You have to experiment. These urological issues can be hard to figure out. You have to be your own doctor and ask a lot of questions - this forum is a great resource.

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