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Endometriosis UK
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Post lap - can't pass urine!

Hi ladies,

Some background first.

On Monday, I had my lap in which "severe" endo was found and I was given some rather lovely (not) photos of the disrruption caused by the endo. My consultant explained that because of this, he would have to refer me to a specialist in London to treat 'widespread' endo and that in the meantime, all they were able to do was drain the cysts on my ovaries (one of the cysts was 8cm). I am however told the cysts will return within 6 months. The positive thing to come out of all this however is that my fallopian tubes are not blocked as my partner and I are looking to try and start a family as soon as I am healed from the lap (I'm almost 28, he is 34) and blocked tubes was one of my concerns. I however still plan to see the specialist to see what he suggests as my current consultant seems to think we should start TTC "sooner rather than later" and before I have any further surgery. I will then be able to discuss my concerns further such as what the risks would be if I fell pregnant with things as they are (with a view to get surgery once family is complete) and what help if any we would get if I didn't fall pregnant naturally. My current consultant seems to think that if I had to resort to IVF, I wouldn't have to wait as long and priority would be given due to my circumstances and the fact we currently have no children but I'll be better informed when I get the referral to the BSGE accredited consultant and will provide a further update on this topic then, just in case there's any others out there in a similar position as me also wondering.

Now my problem is this and this is where I call on you lovely ladies for assurances/advice. Unfortunately, shortly after surgery, it became apparent I couldn't fully empty my bladder. I told the nurses this but they seemed dismissive and told me to 'relax' and it would come. 8 hours later, I was in excruciating pain (bladder, back and kidneys) and all the nurses kept doing was giving me increasing shots of morphine, which didn't help with the pain - I kept telling them that the pain was from not being able to empty my bladder, NOT from the surgery. To make matters worse, I reacted badly to the several shots of morphine I was given, which was making me violently sick and extremely nauseous. At 3am the following morning, I made a desperate call to my mum as I couldn't handle the pain any more and was worried they would make me OD on more morphine if they didn't address the real issue! My mum rushed to the hospital and after strong words were exchanged with the nurse who's 'care' I was under, they put a catheter in which found my stomach had been holding 800ml of urine and was at bursting point. The nurse had previously said she couldn't understand what was wrong as they "give all patients morphine after an op like this which always resolves the problem" and that she "didn't know what else to do to help".

Once the catheter was fitted, the pain disappeared almost immediately. The problem seems to be that the nurses were not listening to me when I was telling them the pain was due to me not being able to empty my bladder properly and not pain due to the surgery itself.

The catheter was left in for 24 hrs (had to stay in hospital for a further night), which gave me some time to rest and start my recovery, only when the catheter was removed a day later, I still couldn't empty my bladder fully and I was back at square one. 6 hrs after the catheter was removed, my consultant intervened and instructed the nurses to scan my bladder right away (under his supervision). I was now in "bladder retention" and still holding over 600ml of urine. My consultant explained that my bladder was in shock and that if the nurses had fitted a catheter shortly after I first told them I wasn't able to pass urine on Monday, this wouldn't have happened. Instead they just tried to mask the pain with morphine, which would't do anything for an overfull bladder! I have now had to have a catheter re-fitted to give my bladder time to rest and this will be removed this coming Monday. My question is, will my bladder recover from this?? I am absolutely petrified I'm going to be stuck with a catheter for the rest of my life!! Anyone else been in a similar position? I am aware that surgery can sometimes halt the waterworks process but surely the nurses should have listened and realised sooner that intervention was needed to help me pass water??

Apologies for the long post but any help would be much appreciated. I wish you all a pain-free day.

Laura xxx

2 Replies

I am so sorry you went through and are still going through this when this may very well of been prevented.

I know you probably won't feel like doing this now but I do think it very important that you make a complaint against the nurse(s) involved in the hope she/they receive further training to ensure this doesn't happen again to someone else. It is appalling and should be classed as medical negligence, though that one always seems to be a mine field if anyone ever dares to navigate through it and take further action.

I had a catheter inserted after almost 7 hrs surgery for endo and adenomyosis. To be honest I'm not sure if the catheter was inserted due to the long surgery or because of the surgeon had to remove endo from my bladder, though I suspect both would be reasons.

Like you I was very anxious about the catheter and my bladder reawakening once it is removed. I have to admit I was very lucky indeed in that whilst I was supposed to have mine in until the next morning I insisted on it coming out as in my case I was sure it was adding to my pain and discomfort. They removed it 2 hours after my op.

Then came the struggle of trying to wee! I didn't sleep all night and had a huge pressure on my bladder so thought this was what was causing the pain.

At best all I could do was (sorry if TMI!) a tiny dribble. The nurses kept telling me the more I worried about it the less likely I would go.

However they at least put my mind to rest a little by carrying out several bladder scans intermittently to show there wasn't much in there anyway. Plus they were collecting my urine to measure it when I did go so they were keeping a close eye on what was going on. Your nurses should have been doing that too. I'm so sorry that didn't.

Relief for me finally came the next day when a kind nurse suggested running a tap whilst trying to go and leaning forward and even rocking a little whilst trying to go. It has taken a while for my bladder to feel like it's working properly again and still 7 months later I sometimes find it a bit sluggish, almost as if the muscles are a bit weak. But I did have my entire bladder shaved to have the endo removed and the doc said it could take me up to a year to fully recover from my surgery.

Try not to worry (easier said than done I know). In most cases the bladder recovers well. At the moment your bladder needs a rest. When it is given the rest it needs it is far more likely to recover.

I wish you all the best, Jo


I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with the staff that were meant to be looking after you. I had a long operation and they tried to take my catheter out after 2 days and I failed to be able to go to the toilet. They therefore had to re-catheterise me as I was in so much pain - like you, the pain from having a full bladder was adding to my pain from surgery. I didn't have this catheter removed until a week after surgery as they wanted to give my body time to recover. The consultant said it was quite usual and that the bladder is quite sensitive and can become quite put out by anaesthetic/ surgery. Even with the catheter in, I did have some problems with it not emptying properly and causing irritation in my bladder where I felt like my bladder was full even when it wasn't. Have they been bladder scanning you to see how much you were emptying your bladder when you had the catheter removed?

After a week, when I had the catheter out I was able to empty my bladder perfectly from the first time I tried to wee so I'm glad it was left in for the full week. I couldn't tell when I needed the toilet so I based it more on what I had drunk and leaving it 1 1/2 to 2 hours between each wee. They bladder scanned me to check I was emptying my bladder properly and that I had less than 150ml left in my bladder. I only had 5mls! So it definitely didn't do any harm me having it in for a week. I had lots of worries like you did but if you have any questions at all pls msg. I'm now 3 weeks post op. I would recommend drinking lots so you reduce the risk of any infections. i hope you feel more comfortable soon xx


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