Post-op gallbladder removal side effects in men

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Hi, my father is 68 years old, had gallbladder removed 5 weeks ago. He’s having trouble urinating, no pain but can’t urinate without a catheter. He got a UTI from catheter as well, which is common.  He’s told that bladder isn’t functioning properly due to the impact anesthetic had on it. He was also told that his prostate is enlarged and is part of the problem. He’s been running a low grade fever for weeks, initial blood test showed that red blood cell count is too high (which doc said could be due to smoking or carbon monoxide poisoning). He’s taking some meds to lower the blood pressure a bit which was a problem prior to surgery. He’s not a smoker, not overweight, he eats large portions but most meals are home cooked, he also loves sweets. He’s now taking meds for the prostate and did a more complex blood test today and is changing the catheters himself. He’s got an appointment with a urologist in a month, if things don’t improve he’ll have to have another surgery. I’m interested in hearing some words of encouragement from males who have had the same symptoms which got resolved eventually. What worked for you and how long after surgery did it take for things to go back to normal? Thank you! 🙏?? 

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  • Posted

    Noghall, sorry about your Dad. Age 68 is not unusual for a man to have developed an enlarged prostate which  causes obstructive uropathy. Was your Dad getting upduring the night to urinate or having to urinate frequently during the day?  Did he have the feeling that he was not emptying his bladder?  These would all be symptoms of obstructive uropathy which is simply the prostate is enlarged. He could possibly have prostatitus or a normally benign infection of the prostate. Is he using an indwelling catheter, in other words does he leave it in 24/7 or is he catherising his self when his bladder feels full?  Either way it is extremely easy to develope an infection. He needs to be VERY diligent in washing his hands with an antibacterial soap and when he opens the catheter package he leave the cath on the inside of the package which is sterile until he is ready to insert it. 
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    • Posted

      Sorry this blog tends to stop and lock up. I am curious why he is not seeing a Urologist for a month.  

      Anesthesia can make it difficult to urinate after surgery, believe me I know I had to stay in recovery for almost an hour until I could utinate but once I did they let me go after I had my gallbladder removed.  Has your Dad tried to urinate on his own since surgery or is he rely on the cath?

      When he does see the urologist, after his evaluation he may indeed need a surgical procedure. In the US we have several procedures to make the prostate smaller. Two of them we actually did in the office and the third we had to do in the hospital. A lot depends on how large his prostate is. If Dad does have an infection I would imagine they would want that cleared up before doing anything. All 3 procedures are done through the penis as the prostate is almond shaped, sits at the bladder neck an

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      Sorry it happened again, this is the third page. And on each side of the urethra, tube you urinate  through.  Prostate infections can be tough sometimes to clear up but they eventually do. If Dad’s temp spikes and you can’t get it down with acetaminophen I would head to the ER as the antibiotic he is taking may not be working for his infection. Please don’t be afraid if he has to have a surgical procedure. Apparently he was healthy enough to under go the gallbladder surgery. I hope this information was helpful to you. I know you were expecting a “male” to respond but I worked in urology for 21 years. Please keep me posted on Dads progress. By the way did they draw a PSA test with his blood work. If not, tell them you would definitely appreciate it being done (PSA-prostate specific antigen).

       

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    • Posted

      He had no issues urinating/emptying the bladder prior to surgery. He has gone to have catheter removed a few times and was sent home but then couldn’t urinate much, 1.6 liters were drained first time he went back to doc after the catheter was taken out. After a few back and forths they showed him how to do it himself so he’s got all of the supplies etc. 

      He has been to urologist already which told him to do it himself and to keep track of data pertaining to how much he urinated and drained until next appointment. His initial appointment was set for March but mom had to make some calls to get it moved up.

      One thing he has been having issues with prior to surgery for a few years now is something that hasn’t been diagnosed successfully. One doc said it’s chillblains (both feet/legs but one is worse than the other) but he’s never seen anything like it because chillblains clears up after a few weeks. His issue is recurring and seems to come on in winter. He limps due to pain and swelling, mom said his foot and leg up to the knee was very swollen. I’ve seen purple discoloration when I visited but wasn’t swollen. I doubt it’s related but if anyone had any thoughts on this issue as well please chime in. Doctors can’t diagnose. For one of the friends in the same city it took a year for docs to diagnose gallbladder, so I’m not surprised, docs don’t seem to be the cream of the crop.

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    • Posted

      I would think he would need to see a vascular surgeon Swelling and turning blue/purple can be the sign of several things but it definitely needs to be addressed sooner than later. It’s not unusual for this to be painful. Is he on his feet all day? Does elevating them when at home help with the swelling? If he is on his feet all day, ask your doctor if compression socks, up to the knee would be helpful. Find a doctor that is willing to continue caring for your Dad until he solves the problem. 
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