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Catheters after Hysterectomy

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

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catheter bagWill I come home from the hospital with a bladder catheter?

Standard procedure for a hysterectomy doesn’t include coming home with a catheter but it can happen.

A foley catheter is typically inserted during surgery for a hysterectomy and removed the next day. A foley catheter is a thin tube with an inflatable bulb near the tip. The tube is threaded through your urethra (while you are in surgery and are unaware of it) and held in place by the expansion of the bulb with a syringe of water, to keep it from slipping out. This tube is connected to a longer tube that is usually taped to your leg and run down to a clear plastic bag that is hung on the side on your bed. It usually remains in place for 24 hours until the bladder can void on its own.

Sometimes a hysterectomy patient comes home from the hospital with the foley catheter for a short time but this isn’t typical.

A suprapubic catheter comes out just above the pubic line and stitched into place. It has a valve that can be turned off and on. The purpose of this catheter is to drain your bladder until is is able to function on its own. The urine may empty into a bag strapped to the leg or another bag that may be attached elsewhere as long as it is below the bladder.

The suprapubic catheter is generally used with patients who have had bladder repairs, bladder re-suspension, bladder injury during surgery and may be left in place for several weeks while the bladder heals.

Other bladder comments:

Many women report their bladder feeling bruised and tender during those first weeks post-op, causing urination to be difficult and/or painful. It’s not unusual for women to complain of bladder spasms that might feel like an infection.

Post-op bladder infections can happen because of the introduction of the catheter into the urethra although it is not typical.

To encourage yourself to urinate, post-catheter removal, drink plenty of water. Sit on the toilet and run the water in the sink, placing your hand in warm water. Relax. If you find little results after sitting there for ten minutes, get up, drink another glass of water and wait fifteen minutes before trying again. Contact your doctor or head to the emergency room if you can not urinate on your own.



This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

04-12-2003 - 10:22 AM


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