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Test to see if catheter is ready to be removed?

Bill_4's picture
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2009

I have my appointment to remove the catheter Tuesday. Is there a specific test the surgeon uses to determine that catheter is ready to be removed? Do all docs use it? Thanks.

lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

I won't experience the cath till next week so can only say what I have heard from other men at the local prostate cancer support group. They told me there was no test done...the nurse just took the cath out.

They all said it wasn't to bad coming out.


Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2009

We will be thinking of you next week. My husband has his surgery at vanderbilt with Dr. Smith
on Sept. 3. We would love to hear from you or follow your progress online.

Posts: 23
Joined: Nov 2008

No test by the Dr other than just "feeling" to insure the cath is loose enough to be withdrawn. It's normal to remove it at 7+ days since surgery. You might think it will be painfull, but it won't -- just a strange feeling! Takes 10 seconds.
Your shoulder pain is likely the gas used to inflate your abdomen for the surgery. When up on your feet, the remaining gas rises in your body, thus the sore "shoulders". It will dissapate on it's own -- it was the worst soreness I had, more so than my incisions (DaVinci 2 years ago).
You'll do fine. Good luck.

Posts: 11
Joined: Jan 2009

I had a cystogram done prior to my catheter removal. Basically, they fill your bladder and look at x-ray views to see if there is any leakage. Not too bad - the pressure is like having to go really bad and being stuck in traffic - only lasts a few minutes.

Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi I know this is off the subject but you are the most experienced post op here I have seen yet 2(yrs). I have 2 questions you might not want to answer them and it will be ok but here goes 1 How long were you incontinent? And 2 How long to get back to work? Thanks either way......Nick

shubbysr's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: Jun 2009

Hey Bill,

I am a Registered Nurse x 30 years. In our case, (post prostate removal) it is normal to leave catheter in for about 7-10 days to allow healing of the ureter that was reconnected to the bladder.
Removal of the catheter is just pulling the catheter out slowly, of course after the internal baloon is deflated. It is an uncomfortable feeling for a few seconds.
The next step is training your sphinter to hold your urine!

Don't worry, it will all work out.

Jim (shubbysr)

Watch.repair.man's picture
Posts: 49
Joined: May 2009

Sounds like all is going pretty good with you. Do what the Doctor tells you, take it easy.
Today is a great day, when the catheter comes out you will feel so much better.
Take care and I will pray for you.

dopplerjockey's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: Jul 2009

I found this funny, and at times on this forum, a little humor is needed.
When I went in to have the urologist remove the catheter on day 7, I was wearing the smaller leg bag attached to the catheter tube. Before the doctor pulled the catheter, he reach down below my pant leg to try to help me get to it, and the valve opened wide, and a huge amount of urine flowed down my foot, his foot, and his hand. As we both scrambled to close the valve, things only got worse as the flow increased, and everything got wet.

After cleaning himself up, he proceeded to pull the catheter, which produced a little tenderness as it slid out, followed by another short rush of urine. Then, into the Big Boy pants I went.

Hope your removal goes smoother than mine. LOL

Watch.repair.man's picture
Posts: 49
Joined: May 2009

I bet the Doc didn't enjoy it.
Wonder where Bill is.
Hope everything went OK for him.

Bill_4's picture
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks for all of these responses. See my progress on new topic "Cather out, Pathology Report In", 8/5/09. I smiled at the urine story but restrained a big belly laugh (ouch). Feeling stronger this afternoon.

brookjax's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2009

I had the DaVinci on a Wed., left the hospital Friday, and had the catheter removed a week later. The Doctor just made an appointment for it before I left the hospital; no test.

I have to add that when my catheter was removed, it hurt like hell for several seconds, which seemed like it was going to turn into an eternity. But then the doctor told me to tighten the muscles down there after I complained about the pain, and that's when the pain ended.

As to ending incontinence, there are two exercises to help this, one is called passive and one is called aggressive. Passive is tightening the muscle for six seconds and doing this for 10-20 times, three to six times per day; the Kegel exercise. The aggressive exercise is to tighten the muscles in fast sequences, increasing the number from 10 to 20 to 30 at a time, just tightening fast and then relaxing for a couple of seconds. Three months of using only the passive exercises (I had not been told of the other one) got me maybe two-thirds of the way, but I expected to be continent by then, so I was disappointed. Some others in a support group said that they became continent in three months.

Using the aggressive as well as the passive exercises during the past week, I am noticing more improvement in automatically holding it in and not wetting the pads as much. So I think I should have been using both methods earlier than I did.

Posts: 241
Joined: May 2007

You're leaking will get worse if you overdo the Kegels---my doc says by overdoing the kegels you fatigue the Sphincter and the dripping gets worse. Sounds like you are right on track with your exercises---good for you.


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