You may or may not go home with a catheter or tube in your bladder. If you are urinating normally, you probably will not need a tube. If you are not emptying normally, some form of drainage is needed. The options include a catheter from the abdomen (called a suprapubic or an SP tube); a catheter from the urethra or a self-catheterization routine at timed intervals. These will be discussed with you before discharge. The type depends on your individual case and preferences. Separate instructions will be given to you depending on your status. Ask us if you have questions about catheter management.
You may return to your normal diet immediately. Nevertheless, because the bladder surface or lining may be irritable as a result of the surgery, alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine and cranberry drinks may cause some irritation or the sensation of needing to void, even though the catheter is emptying the bladder. If these foods don't bother you, however, there is no reason to avoid them, as long as you have them in moderation. More importantly, to keep your urine flowing freely drink plenty of fluids during the day (eight to10 glasses). The type of fluids (except alcohol) is not as important as the amount. Water is best, but juices, coffee, tea and soda are all acceptable.
Your physical activity should be restricted, especially during the first two weeks home. During this time use the following guidelines:
- No lifting heavy objects (anything greater that 10 pounds).
- No driving.
- Limit long car rides in which other people drive.
- No strenuous exercise.
- Limit stair climbing to a minimum.
Any very large and hard stools that require straining to pass can cause bleeding. You will usually be given stool softeners but these are not laxatives. A bowel movement every other day is reasonable. Use a mild laxative if needed and call if you are having problems.
You should resume your pre-surgery medication unless told not to. You may be discharged with iron tablets to build up your blood count, and stool softeners to keep the stool soft. Pain pills (Tylox or Tylenol with codeine) may also be given to help with wound and catheter discomfort. Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen), which have no narcotics, are better if the pain is not too bad.
WHEN TO CALL US
- Fevers over 100.5 Fahrenheit
- Heavy bleeding or clots in the catheter or during voiding
- Drug reactions (hives, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- CALL IMMEDIATELY IF THE CATHETER STOPS DRAINING.
You will need a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress. Call for this appointment when you get home or from the phone in your hospital room before leaving. Usually, the first appointment to remove the catheter will be about 21 days after your surgery. Most people will not have good urinary control at first. Come to the office with a small supply of adult diapers (Attends or Depends). These can be purchased at any drug store.