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Unread 05-31-2002, 12:05 AM

Please tell me: does everyone need a catheter? Is this determined prior to or during surgery?

Another issue I might have is constipation. I have constipation now, mostly from the iron supplements because of my anemia. I've read several posts about both catheters and constipation. So, feel free to give me as many experience stories and advice as you have for me.

Thank you,

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Unread 05-31-2002, 01:16 AM

Hi Amy!
I think a cath is a must. Keeping your bladder empty provides extra room for the drs. In addition, in the hours post op, you will be most grateful at NOT having to try to get up and get to the bathroom. I have had 3 in my life. 2 w/ prior c-sections and then one with my recent TAH. The cath was inserted AFTER I was long gone and I had very little pain (a little sting) when it was removed. Mine stayed in about 24 hrs post op. I did have a difficult time peeing after this last one though. It felt like a bladder infection. I had to pee so bad, but it just wouldn't come out. So there I sat with the water running, thinking of waterfalls and chanting "pee..relax; pee...relax" and eventually I did. It took about 12 - 24 hours for my bladder to get back to what I felt was normal. It wasn't awful.....but it was uncomfortable. I've had no experience with constipation so can't help you there. I tend to run (literally) the other way.
Hope this helps..... Good luck and God bless!

Unread 05-31-2002, 04:25 AM

Hi Amy

I took high powered iron supplements before and after surgery. My DR told me to take them with a glass of orange juice (not the pulp free) for 2 reasons: #1 the Vit C aids the body in absorbing the iron and #2 the pulp helps avoid constipation. I have always had a tendency towards sluggish bowels but I found the oj really helped a lot, I was actually more regular than I have been for years.

I am pretty sure a catheter is used during any and all surgeries. When you are out you don't have any control ... , I'm sure you can fill in the rest
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Unread 05-31-2002, 07:36 AM
Hi Amy,

Don't stress too much about the catheter. It's not that bad at all! Mine was put in after I was asleep in the OR. The nurse did tell me beforehand that I would feel like I had to urinate, but it was just the catheter. When I woke up in the recovery room, I did feel like I needed to go, but remembered that it was the catheter and that I really didn't need to go. That feeling soon passed, and I forgot all about the catheter being in.

As a matter of fact, it was a blessing that first day, since my pain meds made me sick and everytime I moved or got up, I'd vomit. With the catheter, I didn't have to worry about getting up to go to the bathroom. When the nurse took it out the next morning after surgery, I was almost wishing she'd left it in or would put it back, since I then had to try to manage getting out of bed (OUCH!!) and getting to the bathroom with the IV, which wasn't easy. And it didn't hurt when she took it out, just a slight tug.

In regards to constipation, I guess in one way I've been lucky, as I've had diarrhea since surgery. I drink a glass of prune juice with pulp every morning and I've eaten a few dried prunes too, just to make sure things keep moving, so to speak. When you get home, drink plenty of water. That helps too.

Best wishes and lots of s,

Unread 05-31-2002, 08:29 AM
There are a couple of reasons

Catheters and bowel treatments (this is my understanding at least) are very important!
First off a full bladder would take up room, and get in the way of the surgery, so if it's empty it's easier for your surgeon to move it or move around it.
And this one is the most important....
There is always the remote chance that a bladder or bowel can be nicked during surgery. Anything that is contained there can leak into the abdominal cavity and cause a major infection! Defiantely no fun (This was how my doctor explained it to me)
So just understand that when your doctor gives you a bowel prep,or when the catheter has to be used, there are VERY good reasons!
I never felt mine at all, and when it was removed it just felt like a funny little tug and it was out, no pain at all.
Hope that helps you....
s and s
Unread 05-31-2002, 09:27 AM

Hi Amy,

as with all, I woke with the catheter in place, and was sure it would irritate me all to pieces, but it was no problem. When they took it out, I couldn't pee at all, so for the next 16 hours, a nurse would come along every 2 -3 hours, insert another, drain me (whew!), and take it out. (the cath was 5 inches long, can you imagine) Finally, they attached a bag again for over night - I was so greatful for not having to get out of bed to pee. The insertion and extraction was no worse than the usual vaginal speculum. Feels weird, pinches a bit, and the nurses think its the most normal thing in the world. Between the belly ache and painkillers, the catheter will probably be a non-issue.

As for constipation, I swear by raisin bran for breakfast and prune juice before bed.

Hope this helps,
Andi Mc
Unread 05-31-2002, 10:02 AM

Thank you all for sharing your stories. You've put my mind at least on that subject.

I'll continue to post other questions I have about my fears.

Unread 05-31-2002, 10:18 AM

I take it you're getting pretty anxious. As has been said, the waiting is the hardest part. Once they get you in that gown with your butt hanging out, its far less nerve wracking. Yes post-op can be rough, and some people have other issues like nausea from the anesthetic, but by then you're in the thick of it and you know the devil you're dealing with. You will have the strength to get through.

So take care of your fears right now, and know that we all were pretty emotional before hand - and *that* was the problem. We weren't in surgery or healing, we were angst ridden. I think it is as important to care for your psychology before surgery as it is to care for the body afterwards. And we're here if you need us.

Talk to you soon
Unread 05-31-2002, 03:05 PM
Catheter Story

When I had a myomectomy 8 years ago I had a catheter inserted while I was out. It didn't bother me at all. After they removed it (also no big deal for me), I had trouble urinating also. In fact, after trying and trying for hours, they finally re-cathed me just to drain my bladder and took me off the pain killer I was on -- I'm pretty sure it was morphine -- and switched me to a different one -- I think Demerol. The morphine was keeping me from urinating and changing meds took care of the problem.

I have to be sure to tell my A about this problem. Hopefully they can start me out on Demerol to avoid the whole problem.
Unread 05-31-2002, 06:51 PM
Andi Mc

ANGST RIDDEN!!! I love it! Now when my DH says I'm being hysterical, I'll say "No dear...I'm angst ridden!!!" ROTFL

(God the things that set me off these days! LOL I never know whether I am going to laugh or cry!)

We are Ladies In Waiting all right! Waiting to get our sanity back!

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