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4 days post fromL4/5 laminectomy and fusion using instr.

Has anyone had problems urinating after surgery? I'm 4 days out from a TLIF fusion with laminectomy. Surgery went great according to doctor; however, my bladder doesn't want to get on board with the whole going by itself thing. I didn't have issues prior to surgery.

I was having discomfort with first catheter (foli) done, meaning my bladder felt like it was going to explode. They tried letting me go naturally after taking first foly out. I couldn't go only drips. It hurt so bad that they did another scan and I had over 600 units in my bladder. I ended up with another catheter (foly?)

I am being discharged now w/o catheter obviously. When should I expect to go again without pain or discomfort?

Julie K
L4/L5 fusion TLIF for spondylolisthesis on 5/12/14


  • Have you been able to empty your bladder at all on your own? A trickle does not count......they need to either teach you how to do an intermittent self cath procedure or do something more than simply discharge you without any means of dealing with the bladder issue......have you been able to move your bowels or are they sluggish as well?
  • Not able to do more than trickle. I went in warm shower and stood there and bladder did release eventually, but only time I can get a good amount out is standing in shower. No BMs so far even taking stool softeners and milk of magnesia. At urologist now. Will update later.

    Update: due to slow flow problem before surgery I am now aggravating situation with back surgery, drugs, and constipation from drugs, so I have to wear catheter until I can wean off pain meds, get bowels moving, and surgery pain dissipates. Oh the joys of getting older. ;)
    Julie K
    L4/L5 fusion TLIF for spondylolisthesis on 5/12/14
  • I had a real, REAL uncomfortable experience 20 years ago after a tonsillectomy due to the pain meds. The unpleasant memory is still fresh in my mind. I hit the laxatives the day I got home from surgery and made sure I was on top of that.

    I'd be sure to call the doctor's emergency number if you are unable to void your bladder. My doctor told me that if I had that issue I should go to the emergency room.

    March 20, 2014 - L4/L5 Laminectomy and Microdiscectomy
  • I had the same thing happen post op to me.......and I want to warn you, not to just discount it being due to the narcotics, etc....not being able to feel your bladder or bowels, nor move them can be a big , huge red flag......watch out for symptoms of onset of post op cauda equina syndrome. I wasn't able to go #2 for over 10 days, and I told my surgeon and my physiatrist about it, and it should have sent up huge red flags. They are not supposed to discharge you if you can not empty your bladder or bowels......you need to advise your surgeon and make sure that you stay in contact with them, letting them know what is happening......this link has the signs of cauda equina syndrome.....you need to be aware and watch for it and if you think that it might be a possibility, you need for the surgeon to send you for imaging studies. It can happen due to the swelling and bleeding post op......http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/lower-back-pain/cauda-equina-syndrome
  • changes in your ability to use the bathroom, changed in the way things felt ( toilet paper) inner thighs, etc...I would be asking my surgeon about CES.
  • So far I can feel when my bladder is full, but unable to relax the bladder and urethra to allow the urine to escape. I had a slow flow for years before I ever gad back problems. They couldn't find a physical thing wrong with me (i.e., scarred urethra, bladder problems), so the urologist sent me to a special PT that worked in ways to help me with my flow. It didn't help dramatically, but at least I didn't have to push out the urine or bend forward to get more out. Now because of the surgery, my already sensitive bladder and urethra have been plundered by 3 foleys and on straight catheter. The urologist said that can cause even the sturdiest of oarts to get a little gun shy so to speak.

    That is where I'm at. The urologist isn't concerned yet , so I won't be either (don't need to add anymore worries on my plate).

    I'll jeopardize you posted
    Julie K
    L4/L5 fusion TLIF for spondylolisthesis on 5/12/14
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