Interstitial Cystitis Community
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What treatment have you received for urinary retention?

If urinary retention is thought to be acute, severe, or painful, a Foley catheter may be inserted through the urethra into the bladder. This is a small, flexible rubber or silicone tube. Once it has reached the bladder, urine will drain out into a bag and the balloon is inflated to keep the catheter in place.The catheter can either be removed immediately or kept in place to provide continuous drainage.The decision to remove the catheter will depend on the amount of urine obtained, the cause, and the likelihood that your troubles urinating will come back.The normal bladder capacity in adults is about a cup and a half (13.5 oz or 400 ml). If much more urine than this is retained, the catheter may be left in place to allow the bladder to contract to its normal size.Sometimes when the retained urine is finally drained, it is bloody or slightly pinkish. This is usually minor and stops on its own in a short time. Your physician will monitor this to make sure it stops.The urologist/urogynecologist may recommend clean intermittent catheterization/self-catheterization (CIC) for the short or long term while the physician determines the cause and best form of treatment for the urinary retention. In some cases, if the bladder is no longer functioning adequately, long-term self-catheterization is performed. Self-catheterization involves placing a small catheter through the urethra into the bladder to empty the urine and then removing the catheter at set intervals each day. In those individuals who can urinate some on their own, this is typically performed after urination to ensure that the bladder is completely emptied. The use of a lubricating jelly and/or special lubricated catheters makes the procedure less uncomfortable. Nurses in the clinic often can teach patients how to perform CIC.If a catheter cannot reach your bladder because of an obstruction in the urethra, an alternative procedure can be tried.The most common reason for the obstruction is a narrowing or stricture within the urethra. In this setting, a cystoscopy can often identify the area of narrowing, and a small wire can be passed through the narrowed area, and the area can be dilated with special dilators that pass over the wire and a catheter placed.In the situation in which a catheter cannot be placed through the urethra, the catheter can be placed through your skin, over your pubic bone, and through the lower abdominal wall directly into your bladder. This is called the suprapubic route. This procedure is generally performed by urologists. The tube will provide temporary drainage until the situation can be managed via a cystoscopic procedure.In the last few years, devices have become available that can help some people with chronic urinary retention. For example, an implantable device is available that stimulates the nerves that control the bladder. These devices are typically placed by a urologist and/or urogynecologist for select indications.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Post-surgery for my shoulder I could not empty bladder. I got a catheter at the emergency room and then had my doctor remove it 27 hours later, and he prescribed Flomax. Now the problem of urinary retention is back again. I couldn't sleep all night. I have had no prostate problems before this. I wonder how long this could last.
Avatar universal
I had shoulder surgery and had general anesthesia and a block for the arm. Next day I could not urinate. I had to be catheterized at the emergency room. They said to keep it in for 2 days but the small portable bag had to be emptied every 2 hours and my wife had to do it. I decided that 24 hours was long enough to solve the urinary retention problem and went to my doctor, who took it out and prescribed Flomax. He warned me that I could still need a catheter. I felt better and then that night I couldn't sleep because I could only produce a few drops of urine every hour.
Avatar universal
He has water retention, cannot urinate, and was told his organs are failing.
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