SURGERY FOR BPH: AFTER THE OPERATION
After the operation, the Foley catheter will remain in the penis opening. This special catheter, which has a water-filled balloon on the bladder end to keep it in place continuously, drains the urine into a sterile collection bag. It is usually left in for two to four days after a TURP and for up to a week after open surgery. It may cause bladder spasms or make you feel that you have to relieve yourself. The nurse can give you pain pills or other medication to help. When I had surgery for BPH, the severe pain of bladder spasms was the most difficult part of my hospital stay.
If you have suprapubic surgery, you will have an additional catheter to provide better urine drainage for the first few days after the operation
After the operation, you will be placed on a special postoperative cart and moved to the recovery room, where nurses with special training in this area will check your blood pressure and pulse, observe how the catheter is draining, and monitor your breathing. If you need a sedative, your urologist will be close by.
When everything stabilizes, you will be ready to go to your room, where your relatives can visit you.
A nurse will probably have to assist you during recovery, as you could very well be a little dizzy and unsteady as you try to get in and out of bed. The support you receive from the nurses is very important during the recovery process. A recent study shows that nursing care is vitally important, not only in providing comfort but in preventing and managing possible complications.
The nurse will advise you on how to adjust to the catheter and how to keep it clean. You will still have it in you when you are discharged, and it will later be removed. If you have blood clots after the surgery, your catheter will be irrigated frequently. This causes some discomfort, but it is necessary to keep the flow going. The urine may look pink until irrigation is stopped, when it turns darker red. It will clear up by the time you are released from the hospital.
During most of your stay in the hospital, you will continue receiving fluids through your veins with an IV. Your IV tube will be removed as soon as you can eat and drink again to the satisfaction of your doctor. You will be advised to drink plenty of liquids; eight cups a day are recommended to help flush the bladder. Stool softeners are often given so that you won't have to strain when you have a bowel movement.
Your stitches will be removed about a week after the surgery. Fortunately, removing the stitches is not a painful procedure. '
Postoperative Urination Remember not to expect miracles. You still may not urinate normally after the catheter is taken out. You also may feel a painful or burning sensation. A common sensation is the urge to urinate frequently and difficulty in controlling your urine flow—almost a flashback to the reasons for having the surgery, but this will pass (no pun intended). It may take a few days or even months before you get back to a normal urination frequency.
One unpleasant aspect of recovery is the discomfort associated with the operation. Even with medication, you will experience some pain. Especially aggravating are die bladder spasms. They are your bladder's way of telling you that it doesn't like the irritation caused by the catheter. It tries to get rid of the foreign object by squeezing down on the bladder, causing a very painful cramping in the lower abdominal area. It comes without warning and will last a minute or more, but it will certainly spoil your day.
It helps if you close your eyes and picture yourself in a pleasant environment, perhaps at the ocean or mountains, and say to yourself, "It is only a matter of time and this will be behind me."
Postoperative Walking A day after the surgery, your doctor will probably ask you to walk around the hospital to prevent blood clots and pneumonia. Walking through the hospital ward will break up the monotony of the hospital stay and contribute to your rehabilitation. This exercise is also important to stimulate normal bowel movements. You are, of course, not ready to jump out of bed and go walking briskly around the hospital. At this stage, you should move very slowly. You will notice that you don't have the energy that you had prior to surgery, and you. may feel tired or even lightheaded and dizzy. If so, don't fight it; lie down and, if necessary, ask for help.
Start walking slowly and try to extend the duration of the walk each day. Be sure not to overdo it, as frequency is more important than mileage at this stage. If you happen to walk past a full-length mirror on your daily excursion, you may be surprised at the image of yourself with all the tubes connected and exclaim, "I look like the bionic man!"
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