Endometriosis UK
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Bladder problems after surgery?

2 weeks ago i had keyhole surgery to remove the endometreosis and reconstruct my bowel. i now have a problem with my bladder, in that when i go to the loo, i dont fully empty it. i had a catheter for almost 2 weeks to rest my bladder and now im having to catheterise myself 3 times a day just to empty my bladder so i dont get further infections. has anyone else had this prolem? and how long can i expect this to last?

4 Replies

I had similar surgery (6hrs), including a reconstructed bowel. I was in hospital for a week with the catheter and then went home with the catheter for a further 2.5weeks. I went back to hospital and it took me another 2 days before I was able to empty my bladder. I understand it can take different amounts of time for different people to return to normal. Obviously it is really worrying at the time, but it seems it is still very early days for you. I had my surgery 18mths ago. Hang in there.


My bladder problems post surgery lasted 17 months. But they have now settled of their own accord. it can take some time to settle back after a catheter.

catheters can damage the bladder and surgery can cause the bladder muscles to spasm, which you may or may not feel happening.

There are drugs you can take to relax the muscles and help with loo trips rather than having to self catheter. It's rarely a permanent post op problem, but it isn't always something that sorts itself out right away either. We're all different in that respect.

It is not at all uncommon to have bladder problems after a catheter has been used for a few days. even weeks. Many is the day I wished mine was cathetered all the time.

The build up of pressure needing to have a wee and not being able to have a wee properly is really really uncomfy and painful. You end up visiting the loo several times an hour just to let a dribble out !!

The contrary effect of the drugs is that it can mean you can go, but don't get much notice and incontinence can be a real opposite problem until your bladder does settle down.

Speak to your GP about trying different bladder drugs to see if you can find one that works enough for you to not have to be cathetering several times a day. Ideally you want to start weaning (pardon the pun) yourself off the catheter if possible. Every insertion is putting you at risk of introducing infection and damage.

Even if it means you having to spend a few weeks hovering near a loo most of the time as you won't get much notice about needing to go, it's better to have an accident every now and then and still be able to go, than to not be able to have a pee at all.

You're certainly not alone, and you have a lot of sympathy from me. It's an unpleasant post op complication, and I had given up hope of mine getting sorted out, when just before last x-mas I suddenly started feeling like I was beginning to have control again. Deciding when I would go to the loo, rather than making a mad dash every time i stood up.

If I didn't have the drugs, I just couldn't go properly at all.

I decided to stop taking the tablets that day I felt different, and see how I got on, and I didn't say a word to the family. I didn't need the tablets that day and haven't had one since. I waited 3 weeks to be sure it was really happening and that my loo trips were normal again. I honestly couldn't believe my luck. It's now April and I have managed not only to recover the use of my bladder, but even better than that, is that gradually I can retain more and more fluid in it without going to the loo.

BEfore the op, I had a huge bladder capacity. I could last all day holding it in without visiting the, without too much discomfort and I am getting back to that level again now. It is gradual, but very noticeably improved.

Hugs to you, it's not nice at all, and I really hope you and your GP can find something that works better for you than a catheter every few hours. Lots of different drugs to try out, so don't be disheartened if the first ones don't work, try different ones till you find sometthing that suits you.

You get them 4 weeks worth at a time per prescription, so hopefully the problem resolves quickly and you don't end up spending a fortune in prescriptions just to have a proper pee.

It's not your fault, just one of the known risks of surgery.

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This post was super informative and exactly what I have been hunting the Internet trying to find. I had lap excision surgery in April with no bladder issues ever prior... In fact my husband used to tease me for never ever having to pee... No I can't even sleep at night because I literally am in the bathroom numerous times an hour from pressure/discomfort and a feeling of having to go with very minimal if any luck.... Hopefully mine will straighten itself out as right now I am feeling defeated as I feel like I know added extra symptoms on to my already extensive medical list!!


I had surgery 9 weeks ago and since the op, I have been incontinent. What drugs did your GP give you for it?

How long did it take for it to return to some form of normal function?


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