Surgical procedures have risks and side effects that should be considered before the procedure takes place. Bladder problems after surgery can occur in men and women who have had pelvic or abdominal surgery, or those who have had general anesthesia. These problems need to be reviewed and treated by a medical professional to ensure that more serious complications do not develop.
Several bladder problems can occur after surgery. Urinary retention, which is when the urine cannot be excreted from the bladder, often occurs in people who have had general anesthesia. If surgery was performed on the bladder, inflammation and pain can occur due to the use of a cystoscope and other surgical instruments. If the bladder muscle was cut during surgery on the pelvic or abdominal organs, pain and discomfort may occur until the cut heals. Bladder infection is possible, so antibiotics may be administered orally or intravenously to keep bacteria from multiplying and causing bladder irritation.
Bladder problems after surgery are significant because they can impair a person's ability to urinate normally. This can impact her feelings of independence and make the recovery period more difficult. A person with bladder problems following a surgical procedure may avoid social situations because he is afraid of losing bladder control. It may also be necessary to purchase medical products such as catheters, adult diapers and bed pans until the bladder problems have been resolved. This creates additional expenses, which may be a burden on someone who does not have an insurance or only has a basic plan that does not cover items that are not considered medically necessary.
The treatments for bladder problems following surgery depend on the type of complication that has developed. Urinary retention can be treated with the use of an in-dwelling catheter. This is a flexible tube that is inserted into the bladder so that urine can be drained. Once the effects of the anesthesia wear off and the patient is able to walk to the bathroom on his own, the catheter can be removed. Pain and inflammation can be treated with oral or intravenous medications. Cuts to the bladder muscle can be repaired with sutures and the pain can be treated with pain medications. If infection develops, antibiotics can be administered to kill bacteria and kill infection from the patient's system.
Bladder problems that develop after a surgical procedure need to be treated immediately to prevent complications. Urinary retention that is not relieved with the use of a catheter or other treatment methods can cause urinary reflux. This is when urine backs up into the kidneys, which causes tissue damage. Pain and discomfort are usually temporary, but should be reported to a medical professional so it can be evaluated. Sometimes pain can be a sign of a serious problem that needs immediate treatment. Infection that is not treated quickly can spread into the bloodstream, causing a blood infection known as sepsis. This type of infection is very difficult to treat and can be fatal.
Report all complications to your medical care provider so that proper treatment can be administered. Do not try to diagnose or treat any of these problems without consulting a medical professional. If you are instructed to use specific medical equipment or to take prescription medications, carefully follow all instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist. Do not increase or decrease medication doses unless your medical care provider has instructed you to do so. Complete all courses of treatment to ensure that your surgical complications are resolved.