I was worried about the catheter too! You’re not alone
It is inserted whilst you’re asleep in to your urethra where you normally wee from. A little balloon inflates inside you to hold it in, but you can’t feel it. The tube then comes out from between your legs and is attached to a pouch to collect it in. I found it to be a bit annoying as it hung off the end of the bed for 6 days and I’d have to carry it everywhere with me! Sometimes my legs would get in a tangle with the tube but I wiggle around in bed. I didn’t go home with one as I was in hospital for 6 days. I think you’re given a smaller pouch to go home with that you empty.
As I was recovering on a gynae ward all the ladies seemed to be carrying them about or having them removed! The nurses didn’t empty mine until the end of the night so it got too heavy for me to carry so my boyfriend would have to carry it for me when I did my little walks round the ward. True love right there!
When they remove it you feel a tiny pop and then you can go to the loo normally.
It’s not bad, just a bit annoying and I found it rather amusing, but that’s probably just me.
This is exactly what I’m worried about! It seems ridiculous doesn’t it… I’m not sure I’ll be going home with mine though?
Hi - Don't worry too much about the catheter. I'm not sure why they said you'll go home with it in, but as others have said it is more awkward than uncomfortable while its in place.
Mine was removed while I was in hospital because they wanted to make sure my bladder was working ok before they sent me home. They took it out (a weird but not awful sensation) and I heard them say I was 'TWOK'. I asked the nurse what that meant and she laughed and said that after Three Wees (under my own steam and empyting my bladder fully each time) I was OK to go home. Still makes me chuckle now.
Some women find it hard to get their bladder going again, but the nurses will help you with that if it should happen. I found them to be very patient and supportive.
What I know for sure is that the things I worried about throughout my treatment were never as bad as I feared. I wasted a lot of emotional energy worrying for nothing. I know its easy to say, but do try to take each thing as it comes.
Good luck hun x
Have they said why you'll be going home with a catheter still in? To be honest, unless there's a really good reason, I'd ask if they can remove it before you leave hospital.
As has already been said, you won't be aware of it being put in as they'll do it once you're under and you have absolutely no sensation of it once you're conscious again. You can't really 'feel' it in that sense - you just feel the tubes against the sides of your legs, that's all, but you don't feel the catheter being inside you.
They generally try to get the catheter out a.s.a.p to reduce the chances of a lazy bladder and/or infection - mine was still in after four days as I couldn't get out of bed before then, but one short walk (shuffle!) down the corridor while carrying a bag of my own wee made me pretty determined to put an end to that situation! After that I was so determined to get it out and to go home that I got the syringe from the nurse and took it out myself. When it's removed, it's a bit like that feeling just after you've been for a wee and you think there might still be a bit there, but that only lasts a second and is not uncomfortable, then it's out. It's held in by an air valve, so don't worry, you can't accidentally pull it out.
Once you can get out of bed and shuffle yourself to the bathroom, there shouldn't really be a need to have a catheter in, and it will help your recovery if you can start to move around sooner rather than later. While taking yourself to the bathroom at home can become a bit of a pain after the op, it is the best thing because it gets you moving about a bit and gets your body working normally on the inside as well. As has already been said by others, generally they like to take it out sooner rather than later and once you've done three wees you're off 'bladder watch'!
Lots of love, Annabel. x
Thanks so much for the replies. I feel a bit better about this now. I had visons of a hosepipe type contraption, lol. Though I'm sure my consultant said I'd only be in hospital for 2 or 3 nights so would therefore go home with the catheter and it would be removed a week later. I think he also said the tube would be near my bikini line?! I will have to check this with him as I may well have made this up! I'd really rather go home without it.
I was meant to go home after 3 days and would have had to take the catheter with me, then return on day 5. glad i didnt have to! My epidural gave me a dead leg so I ended up in there 6 days, so out came the catheter on the last day.
It could be that your consultant mentioned drainage tubes? I had 2 of these just below my scar to drain away any excess blood after I’d been sewn up. It allowed the nurses to see if i was still loosing blood as i could have needed a transfusion to top up. Again I was really worried about them, but as with most of the details around the op, it turned out to be a minor thing. They were really thin tubes in tiny holes that were easily removed. They were taken out the day after my op with no bother at all.
I'm having keyhole surgery, do you know if this makes a difference? I guessing I wouldn't need any drainage as the incisions will be small?? xx
Hmm in that case I'm not sure, hopefully someone who had keyhole can help! Have you had your pre-op yet. I had a lot of it explained better by the nurses and was given leaflets about it too xx
OK weirdo confession time… I quite liked the catheter! You can lay in bed drinking loads and never get that annoying, uncomfortable, need to pee sensation!!
I had mine less than 24 hours and was high on morphine for a large amount of that time - but honestly it’s not painful at all, you simply don’t feel it.
I’m sure I’d be a pain if you have to have it at home, so I’m not making a joke of the at all, but if you have one immediately post op when you’re in a hospital bed anyway, it’s kinda cool!
I also took great pleasure in making my squeemish Dad sit next to the bag of wee during visiting hours, drinking loads then winking at him! Well, it gives you all something to giggle about too!
X x x
I had keyhole and was terrified of coming home with catheter!!
day 3 catheter was removed and i was scanned after weeing to make sure bladder was emptying properly.
Nurses were fab with advice about leaning forward when you thought you had finished to get the last drops!! Makes all the difference.
Came home xmas eve catheter free thanks to those lovely nurses x
Good luck x
Lisa, your message really made me laugh. So it seems that you all came home with no catheter so that's promising. My sister told me to think of it as a water feature for my lady garden . Errm, I'm not sure she is helping, ha ha. Thanks again everyone for your replies, much appreciated. xx
I had my op keyhole on a Weds and had my catheter removed on Fri am. You have to be mobile enough to walk to the bathroom before it can be removed. It wasn't too uncomfortable and didn't hurt when it was removed although I was relieved when it was taken out. It was a bit annoying and did get a bit tangled up in bed. I had been told I would go home with it too so was pleasantly surprised when they removed it in hospital. I think individual surgeons do things differently, and it is down to personal choice.
In my hospital you had to do three wees over a certain amount before you could be discharged, so they knew your bladder was working properly. Having visited the toilet and seeing the tiny amounts other people had done and being desperate to go home I vowed to have several drinks before venturing anywhere near the toilet. BIG MISTAKE. I waited too long and nearly wet myself in the corridor trying to get to the toilet - the closest one was engaged and I didn't know where the others were. The nurses weren't helpful either, just told me don't wee on the floor and waste it - every drop is precious - thanks! Turns out I needn't have worried, I had a bit of an incident when I finally made it to the toilet. I had been so desperate I filled the bowl up, couldn't stop and it overflowed and went all over the floor!!!! The nurses were stunned... obviously doesn't happen very often and I was allowed straight home! I was so embarrassed...
Don't be worried about having a catheter it's okay and to be honest for the first day or so you'll be glad to have it so you don't have to walk to the toilet.
it sounds like your surgeon is describing a suprapubic catheter, which as you say is brought out through a tiny incision in your abdomen. Hospitals vary quite a lot in their management od bladders post surgery and it's not uncommon to be taught how to self-catherterise before you leave hospital IF your bladder isn't voiding itself adequately. Some hospitals will scan you to determine this.
I was sent home self-catheterising for two weeks post op and this is not unusual, but hopefully in your case won't be necessary.
Take care and good luck!
I called mine Wilson and drew a smiley face on the bag! Its not great, but I also strangely enjoyed the sensation of not having to get out of bed to pee! I did have to remind myself after it was taken out to get out of bed when I needed to go! haha! Its honestly nothing to worry about, just a bit awkward. I had mine for a week.
Hope all goes well for you
Hahaha!! I am totally doing that!!
Tes we’ll have to compare xx
Hi Louise, that sounds like what the consultant described! Good to know that I didn't dream that up. Xx