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Bladder training after suprapubic catheter Bladder training after suprapubic catheter

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Unread 07-31-2004, 08:00 AM
Bladder training after suprapubic catheter

This is for those of you who have had suprapubic catheters -

I've had mine for 3 weeks now and am ready to get it out - if possible today, but Monday if the doc doesn't want to work on a Saturday (who would?). My residual urine is down to around 25 ccs, looks like a few tablespoons most of the time.

My question is this: how long before your bladder could handle more than a few hours? I'm feeling the need to go every 2-3 hours, except sometimes at night I can go 4 hours before I wake up and need to pee. Even then it's a relatively small amount. I used to have a horse-like capacity, easily could go almost all day at work w/o needing to pee, depending on the consumption of tea and lattes of course.

Once the catheter is gone, does your bladder start feeling like it's OK to be a little fuller before you go? Does it take weeks, months?

I can't imagine going back to work and having to pee every 2.5 hours.

thanks for any comments -
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Unread 08-02-2004, 02:42 PM
Bladder training after suprapubic catheter

Hi, Nancy. I was hoping someone would reply to your post as I also have a sp cath. However, maybe you can answer some questions for me...My belly is about raw from trying to find a new place to tape it. They showed me to tape it to my belly. And, how do you get all the sticky tape residue off the catheter? I have tried soap, alcohol wipes, etc. Now, the tube sticks to just about anything without tape.

Next question..I go to the dr Mon the 9th...he said he will either remove or clamp the catheter. How do you clamp it? Did you have bladder spasms when it was clamped?

And, when they take it out, why isn't a hole left in the bladder?

I know you wanted answers and all I have is more questions!

Unread 08-02-2004, 02:57 PM
Bladder training after suprapubic catheter

Hi Dee,
Well, questions from a fellow SP cath wearer are still better than silence! Was your surgery really in March, and you still have the cath? No wonder you are worn out trying to deal with it. I've had mine a month and am hoping it comes out tomorrow.

Here's how I have dealt with it. The original tape job from the hospital lasted about 2 weeks, and I babied it along so I wouldn't have to deal with taping it myself. I dried it every time I bathed or showered w/ a hair dryer, which I think helps it last longer.

When it wore out, I actually bought a cath tape kit from a medical supply store. It was for a leg catheter. It's got 2 pieces of tape for the belly, then a velcro loop that holds the catheter tube. I taped the tube to the velcro to make it not slide around, and also to cover up the sticky residue from the last tape job. This has lasted for 2 weeks and looks like it will last forever. It's a good, clean sort of tape - looks like a silky fabric - and it has not even started to peel off.

This isn't exactly the one I have, but it gives you the idea:

So I haven't had to re-tape more than once and I put the new tape in pretty much where the old tape was. It's not irritated at all.

If you have a lot sticky residue on the tube, you should get adhesive removal pads at a medical supply store. That should take care of it.

I have no idea what clamping the catheter is all about. I'm supposed to get mine out, that's all I know. And why there isn't a hole left in the bladder - well, they must know what they are doing, so if there is a hole it must just seal itself up pretty quickly!!!

hope that helps Dee. Wish me luck tomorrow getting mine out. I'll post to tell you what it was like.

- Nancy
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Unread 08-02-2004, 04:27 PM
Bladder training after suprapubic catheter

Hi Dee & Nancy,

My surgery is scheduled for 8/17 and I'm going to have an SP cath as well. This really frightens me. So I have even more basic questions for you. How does it feel? How often to you have to empty it? Can you feel it inside you? Nancy, it sounds like you are going to the bathroom regularly as well as using the cath. Did I read that right?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Unread 08-02-2004, 05:26 PM
Bladder training after suprapubic catheter

Nancy...Good luck with the sp cath removal! I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Let me know all the details! I've had the sp since July 16. In March had a foley for several weeks following initial surgery. They told me to change the tape every day. NO wonder I am running out of skin. Plus, I think I may be allergic to the adhesive

I see your hysterectomy is coming up soon. Mine started out as a TVH, and I ended up with a total abdominal hyst & had ovaries out. My dr accidentally cut my bladder. My 1 hour surgery ended up to be almost 4, because they had to find a specialist to sew my bladder back together. Went home with a foley cath for over 2 weeks...that was the worst! So I thought, anyway.

Shortly thereafter, I developed a fistula between the vagina & bladder which was repaired on July 16. Came home from that with a foley and sup cath. The foley was removed the next Wednesday. The sp is still here.

I can honestly say the sp is much less annoying than the foley. However, having the foley removed was like a big pinch. I am freaking out about how they remove the sp. I went back and read old posts which were really horrific, but I would much rather know the truth up front, and what to expect.

I have two different size bags to hold the pee; if I use the leg bag, it needs to be emptied every hour or two; the big bag can go all night without a problem. I don't really feel the sp inside, but, if you accidentally pull the tubing...that's a different story. I do know they can clamp it off (I'm not sure how) and your bladder will work as normal. Mine has not been clamped yet, so I will let you know if I find out more next week. I go back to the dr on Monday.

Keep in touch, girls!
Unread 08-02-2004, 05:33 PM
Bladder training after suprapubic catheter

Hi Katie,
Don't get worried about it! For me, it's pretty benign - it's just weird, having a tube poke out from the middle of your pubic region. I certainly can't feel it inside me - never could feel my bladder, really, other than knowing when I had to go.

I didn't start peeing "normally" until a week after my surgery. However, my neighbor in the castle - who appeared to be in her 70s - apparently started going 2 days later! so it is very much variable for each person. I've been steadily increasing the amount that I "void" myself (read: pee!) and decreasing the residual amount that I empty using the catheter. My doctor had me measuring the amount remaining each time I went, and writing it down. When the residual was less than 75cc EVERY TIME for 2 days straight, he would let me schedule the appointment to have the SP cath removed. That has just happened! so my appointment is tomorrow. I'm thrilled.

As to timing - in the castle, they made me try to pee every 2 hours. Once I came home, I was allowed to extend it to 3 hours, but I could go longer at night - basically sleep until you wake because you have to go, and then back to bed.

When you do go, you first try to go naturally. This means you take a long time to try - I would sit for at least 15 minutes each time! (keep a good book or some knitting by the toilet, is my advice... or a Gameboy if you are into that!) If you do go naturally, bravo. Regardless, you then stand up and uncork the catheter, draining it into a measuring cup (one I brought home from the hospital). Then you write down the time, whether it was a trickle or a stream, and how much was left that had to be drained through the catheter.

Phew! long message. I hope that eases some of your concern about what it's like to have one. I just get tired of trying to figure out somewhere to stash it in my pants!! but I try to keep a positive perspective. My husband didn't really go for the cath tube-twirling "grind" I did for him the other night...

Unread 08-02-2004, 05:36 PM
Bladder training after suprapubic catheter

Oh, Dee, now I get it - your SP catheter runs into a bag still? Mine was corked off in the hospital so I drain it every time I try to pee, and it's just a little "tail" that I tuck into my pants. Looks like the tubing in that picture whose URL I sent before.

I guess I will go read posts about what it is like to have it removed. But my doc has been really good about telling me what to expect, and things like the cystoscopy were completely painless.

I'll post when I get home from the appointment, or soon after anyway. Thanks for the good vibes!

- Nancy
Unread 08-03-2004, 06:55 AM
Bladder training after suprapubic catheter

Hi, Nancy.

Good luck today with the SP removal! Can I ask a couple of more questions? Did your cath ever go into a bag? At what point did they "cork" it off? And was it really a cork?

Did you have spasms or pain when you started to urinate normally? After my first surgery, after they took out the foley, it was like I had to grab the wall when I urinated because it hurt/burned so bad. I had a UTI from the foley, topped off with what I found out later was untreated bladder spasms.

Sending you good thoughts Dee
Unread 08-03-2004, 08:05 AM
Bladder training after suprapubic catheter

Hi Dee,
I think they unplugged me from the bag after Day 2 in the castle. That's when they wanted me to start trying to go on my own. There is a little Y-junction on the cath tube, and one branch of the Y has a white plastic plug in it. That's the thing you pull open to drain your bladder after you try to pee. (I have no idea what the other side is for; maybe that is the side they had connected to the bag.)

I didn't have any spasming pain at all when peeing. I was not convinced I would ever BE able to pee, as it took more than a week after surgery. Best thing I used was one of those little plastic wash bottles they give you after you have a baby to wash off the area - I used warm water and started squirting with that, and it helped trick out the pee. Also used music with the sound of running water!!! Since I live in CA and we don't have enough water to start with, I could not in good conscience sit there with the water running to try to convince my bladder to relax. So the music helped.

There is a scary thread out there about pain when you have the cath removed. It sounded to me like most of the horror stories were from nurses yanking it out! My doc is incredibly straightforward and terrific, so he will tell me if it's going to hurt. And I'll take a pad to tape on the hole, since it sounds like it leaks for a day or so till it heals over. I'll be sure to post after I get back!

- Nancy
Unread 08-03-2004, 08:40 AM
Bladder training after suprapubic catheter

I wish I would have asked people about this about a year ago!!!! I had surgery to remove my native bladder and my urologist made me a new one out of a portion of my intestines. I had a malecot cath as my sp drain, which was the size of my pinke or ring finger (somewhere in between). I could never get it positioned to where it wouldn't hurt (hurt most when I took a shower and had to move around to wash everything)

I maybe wrong but it sounds like the one with the "Y" must mean you have a baloon at the end of your SP cath (to help hold it in).

When they remove mine it hurt, but once it was out it quit, and it didn't hurt that bad (about like a good hard pinch). Also when I had mine removed I had taken a pain pill before I left for the docs office just in case, but I dont think I would have needed it too much. But of course different people react differently to pain.

I had asked my urologist about the hole, if he was going to put a stitch it or what. Well he told me that it would close on its own, it may leak for a few days, but to just keep changing the dressing and it will eventually close on its own. Which it did after a few days. The best way I can describe how it closes is like if you stick a pole in mud (only anology I could think of) and pull it out the mud being loose will close up on it self and eventually you would not be able to tell where the pole was. Or like when you get an IV or give blood -- although smaller but same effect.

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