Question

Healthy Kidneys & Urinary System

What should I do if I have trouble urinating after abdominal surgery?

A Answers (1)

  • AJay T. Bishoff, MD, Urology, answered on behalf of Intermountain Healthcare
    After surgery, you might have trouble urinating. This might be due to your surgery. But it may also come from pain medication, discomfort, or anxiety. Here’s what to do:

    • Don’t strain or bear down while going to the bathroom. This can
      damage the area of your recent surgery.

    • Urinate while sitting in a few inches of warm water. Remember to
      avoid getting your incision wet if it hasn’t healed yet.

    • Don’t let your bladder get too full. Believe it or not, it’s easier if you
      urinate more often.

    • Do kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles around your vagina,
      bowel, and bladder. To start, tighten the muscles you use to stop the
      flow of urine. Hold for a count of ten, then relax the muscles slowly.
      Repeat several times a day, working up to 100 kegels a day.

    • If you can’t urinate on your own before you leave the hospital, you
      may need to go home with a urinary catheter (a small tube to drain
      urine from the bladder). Until you can urinate on your own, follow
      these instructions:

           1) If you go home with a catheter in place, follow the nurse’s
              instructions for caring for the catheter and drainage bag. Do any
              exercises you’ve been taught. And make sure you know when
              and how the catheter will be removed.

           2) If you need to self-catheterize, a nurse will teach you how
              before you leave the hospital. Be sure to self-catheterize as
              often as your nurse has told you to -- usually every 3 to 4 hours
              during the day.
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