Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m doing fine after my facelift surgery except for one big problem. I have a serious issue with bladder control. I’m constantly feeling the urge to urinate and can expel just small amounts to less than a dibble. It’s been uncomfortable. Any ideas on how to re-regulate this?
A: I am not a Urologist but your after surgery issue is not the first time I have seen it. Urinary retention after surgery in older men is not uncommon, particularly if they have a known or unknown enlarged prostate gland. Usually the problem is treated by the use of a catheter which is passed into the bladder to allow the urine to empty. Initially a one-time (in and out) catheterization is done. But if the bladder fails to continue to empty properly, a catheter may need to be replaced and left in a for a few days. There are no medications that have been proven to be helpful for urinary retention although drugs such as cholinergics and sedatives have been tried with variable results.
You do not want to go for an extended period of time with bladder over distention. Based on your comfort level and how much (or little) urine you are getting out, a visit to the local emergency room may be in order.
Dr. Barry Eppley