Urinary catheters are a tube that is inserted into the bladder. This is done via the urethra to aid in the draining of urine. It’s primarily used during the recovery process from a number of procedures to address enlarged prostates. The most common condition that causes enlarged prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia. While benign, meaning non-cancerous, this condition can bring with it troubling symptoms that require treatment. BPH will occur in the majority of men at some point in their lives, most often past the age of 50.
When Are Urinary Catheters Needed, And How Can I Avoid Them?
The passing of urine is a basic essential human function that a number of factors can compromise. Surgery, illness, and injury can all contribute to complications with this process. Any instance that interferes with the natural elimination of urine may require the use of a urinary catheter. Some examples include:
- Acute Urinary Retention – An inability to urinate properly
- Monitoring – When the flow rate of urine needs to be tracked
- Preoperation – Urine catheterization may be part of preparing for surgery.
- Healing Process – Incontinent patients with open wounds near the perineal or sacral area may receive catheterization to aid in healing.
- PostOperative – The outcomes of some surgeries may require the use of urinary catheterization. This may be permanent or only be part of the recovery process.
Surgical procedures involving the prostate may require urinary catheterization before, during, or after. Prostate treatments that require catheterization include:
- TURP: This treatment eliminated urinary blockage by removing a portion of an enlarged prostate. A catheter is inserted during this procedure, and your urinary output is tracked once it is complete. This catheter will be left inserted overnight and removed the following day.
- Prostate Cancer Treatment: Following the treatment of prostate cancer, most men will be fitted with a catheter for two weeks. Your physician can remove it after this time.
Modern treatment options for conditions involving an enlarged prostate do not require the use of catheterization. One example is prostatic artery embolization (PAE), a minimally invasive procedure designed to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. Believed to be caused by excessive testosterone production, BPH is a condition most men will face during their lives. Lifestyle choices, including a reduction in eating red meats and fats, can help slow the advance of BPH.
When BPH continues to the point where treatment is necessary due to advanced symptoms, PAE can help. The procedure does not require catheterization and can be done as an outpatient procedure. During this procedure, plastic particles are inserted into the arteries that feed the enlarged areas of the prostate. This denies oxygenated blood to these areas, causing them to shrink over time.
Get Further Guidance From Your Prostate Specialist
If you’re experiencing symptoms of an enlarged prostate and want to know what treatment options are available, speak to your specialist. They’ll provide valuable insight into your condition and present a variety of treatment options that may help. By catching the symptoms early enough, you may be able to benefit from minimally-invasive treatment options, including medication. These can help you avoid receiving care that requires urinary catheterization.