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Going Home with Catheter Going Home with Catheter

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Unread 01-07-2006, 02:15 PM
Going Home with Catheter

I had my preop yesterday and I am having a TVH, A&P repair, and bladder sling. Doctor says depending on how bad my bladder is he might have to fix it before the sling which means I would have to go home with a catheter for 5 days.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge with this and what this entails?

It won't let me post on the post op side yet to ask those who had it done.
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Unread 01-07-2006, 03:09 PM
Going Home with Catheter

Hi (((Hopefully))) Don't worry, there are plenty of us who are post op who drop in at Pre Op to help out

I had a bladder lift with my TVH/BSO/A&P repairs also. When they took out the catheter in the hospital the day after surgery, I was unable to urinate on my own because there was so much swelling "down there" that it was constricting the urethra too much. My whole pelvic area needed time to calm down from the stress of the surgery. They reinserted the catheter and I had it the whole first week at home.

Honestly, it was not a big deal. I didn't feel it most of the time. It was a blessing in that I didn't have to get up as much during the night to "go". The only thing I had to be careful about was positioning... if you end up with the bag above the level of your bladder it won't drain properly, which can get painful if you don't notice it right away (as in, while you are sleeping). When that happened to me, I stood up next to the bed and watched as the entire bag filled right up, and the discomfort went away. After that I learned to wedge myself in with pillows so I couldn't roll onto the side where the leg bag would be on top. Of course, if you go home with a big bag as well as a leg bag (which I didn't), you can just stick the big bag on the floor and then you don't have that problem.

I loved the convenience of just having a leg bag. It strapped onto my leg with elastic/velcro bands, which I removed and replaced with tape while showering (the bands lose their stretch if they get wet). I was able to go out with it on, just by wearing loose clothing (baggy pants or a long skirt) over the bag. It actually gave me more freedom than being tied to the bathroom because of having to go frequently due to irritation from surgery would have.

I removed the catheter myself at one week post - the nurse at the hospital had shown me how. It's very easy and it doesn't hurt. After that, my DR had me keep a journal of how frequently I urinated until things got back to normal. I felt a little strange writing down every trip to the bathroom but it really helped. At first I had to go every 20-30 minutes ; gradually, over the course of a week or two, I got to where I could go several hours during the day and last all night most nights, which was a HUGE improvement over my pre-hyst having to get up 3-4 times a night.

I hope this helps ease your worries a little.

Unread 01-07-2006, 05:31 PM
Going Home with Catheter

Hi Hopefully,
During my hyster, my bladder was "nicked" or...something. I ended up going home with a catheter for 24 days. Don't freak out--my experience was definately not "normal".

Unlike Linda, I used the Foley bag, which is a large 2000cc bag that you can hang up. They gave me a leg bag to use, but I never did. I always ended up hooking it to the pockets on my shorts.

Yes...keeping it lower than your bladder is important....having your bladder not drain is not a good thing. You will also have to watch for yeast infections and bladder infections. I'm sure they will have you on antibiotics while you have your catheter...you might want to ask your doc about taking a pro-biotic to reduce the risk of a yeast infection. You might also want to ask your doc about Cranberry pills...something I take all of the time now to prevent bladder infections.

Keeping the catheter area clean is also important. I used a washcloth in the shower. If you do go home with the Foley bag, make sure the tubing is not too long....stepping on the tubing is not good.

It can get clogged, too...as I found out. So, you will want to make sure it is constantly draining...if not, then you will have to have it flushed out.

It was strange passing up the potty for 24 days...and it did get downright depressing near the end, but it wasn't that bad. I think in the end, having the catheter caused me to rest more than I would have if I were more "mobile".

I wish you the best in your recovery. Hopefully, you will come home catheter free, but if you don't...5 days is not that bad.

If I can think of anything else I can remember, i will let you know.

Good luck!
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Unread 01-07-2006, 11:31 PM
Going Home with Catheter

Thanks gals for answering my concerns. I really needed those details and I know it isn't an easy subject to talk about. I have a feeling that I will have to have it based on how bad I know my bladder is and the doctor saying the sling can only do so much. There are two surgeons doing this in which one is the bladder sling surgeon. It is the hysterectomy surgeon who is talking about tacking it and the catheter. I think it is alot due also to scar tissue from a previous A&P repair about 20 years ago.

I am just glad when I read your messages about being able to shower still with one. Keeping it covered as much as possible would be best for me.

One more question: Can you tell it is there like something pinching? I haven't had one in 20 years and it did back then and I couldn't wait to get it out and that was less than 24 hours.
Unread 01-07-2006, 11:35 PM
Going Home with Catheter

It should not hurt. If it does, let them know right away - often it can be repositioned, adjusted, whatever, to make it more comfortable.

The one I had after my hyst did not hurt at all. I had another one in the hospital a year later after colon surgery, and that one was uncomfortable. Turns out the balloon was under-inflated and slipping down, almost into the urethra but not quite. That hurt. They were going to remove and replace it, but once they removed it, I was able to go on my own, so we just left it out.

Unread 01-07-2006, 11:48 PM
Going Home with Catheter

Thanks Linda, I thought it was suppose to hurt so I never said anything before just like some IV's I have had in the past were really painful and yet I have had then now and you can't tell that they are in. Well I am older now and not as shy about speaking up and thanks to you letting me know in advance, that if it hurts, I'll let them know so I can bear with it. This site is so wonderful!
Unread 01-08-2006, 12:20 AM
Going Home with Catheter

my doc told me at my pre-op that because of my previous abdominal surgeries,that i was at a higher risk for bladder issues during surgery,i didnt ask what kind of issues though i wish i would have,but he said i may possibly come home with one as well...my mother had a hysterectomy about 13 years ago,and had to come home with one for 5 days,ironically enough,her and i just discussed this friday night..she said it did not hurt or bother her,and she actually,the first couple days home it was better because she didnt have to constantly have to get up and down to go to the bathroom.my aunt is a nurse and was taking care of my mom,and she would empty her bad and whatever else it entailed....
Unread 01-08-2006, 01:08 PM
Going Home with Catheter

I don't remember mine hurting...except one time I got the tubing caught on something as I walked past. I think it hurt my husband more than me (he couldn't look at it without wincing in pain haha). But, no...it didn't hurt. Everything else will be hurting, but not the catheter...just remember to keep it clean.

Best wishes!
Unread 01-08-2006, 01:19 PM
Going Home with Catheter

I did not have any work done to my bladder during the hysterectomy, but I came home with a foley because my bladder was still sleepy. it stayed in for a week then I str8 cathed for the next week or so. Now I go "like a big girl all by myself" (my little joke)
Unread 01-08-2006, 01:22 PM
Going Home with Catheter

Originally Posted by pianoplayer927
I don't remember mine hurting...except one time I got the tubing caught on something as I walked past. I think it hurt my husband more than me (he couldn't look at it without wincing in pain haha). But, no...it didn't hurt. Everything else will be hurting, but not the catheter...just remember to keep it clean.

Best wishes!
I told my husband that I might come home with one and he doesn't even want to think about it or talk about it since he is thinking about the pain. So I am thinking geesh....I guess I am going to have to try and keep it hidden if I do come home with one and just complain to my understanding sisters here.

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