Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in males. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men according to the American Cancer Society.
However, this slow-growing cancer is often treatable, particularly if it’s diagnosed early. This is why it’s so important to make regular or annual appointments to see a urologist.
Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Surgery
For men with prostate cancer, there are a few treatment options. This will entirely depend on how severe the cancer growth is. The best course of action will come down to a mutual decision between you and your treating physician.
Some men undergo a prostatectomy (removal of the prostate by surgery)..
While it’s considered a safe operation, side effects are possible.
According to the UCLA Prostate Cancer Program, “the surgery may weaken the muscles that control your urine flow. Surgery may also hurt the nerves that help control your bladder.”
This is why some men occasionally have urine leakage or a neurogenic bladder after the surgery. In many cases, this side effect is temporary, but for some, this could be a long-term condition that requires treatment as well.
A protective undergarment or adult briefs may be a good option. In other cases, intermittent catheters may be prescribed to empty the bladder and prevent leakage.
Tips for New Catheter Users After Prostate Cancer Surgery
Find the right intermittent catheter for you.
You’re unique, and so are your needs and preferences. That’s why it’s important to remember that no single type of disposable catheter or brand of works for everyone across the board.
Straight Intermittent Catheters
Straight uncoated catheters must be manually lubricated with lubricating jelly before insertion. Lubrication comes separately in single-use travel-size packets or tubes. Some men prefer straight catheters due to their cost and no-nonsense practicality.
Those new to self-cathing often prefer hydrophilic catheters due to their comfort, convenience, and travel-readiness. Hydrophilic catheters have a coating that becomes slippery when activated by water and takes the place of typical lubricating jelly to make catheterization more smooth and comfortable.
Closed system catheters
are also great for sterile, no-touch cathing. Frequent travelers and those in wheelchairs also find all-in-one closed systems easier to use. These often come with additional insertion supplies like gloves, antiseptic wipes, and other accessories to keep the cathing process hygienic.
If you have any issues with inserting a straight tip, your doctor may recommend that you use a curved tip catheter known as a coudé catheter. Coudé catheters may help maneuver through tight spaces in the urethra like strictures and get past blockages. Availability of coudé tips depends on the brand and French size needed.
Keep it hygienic to reduce your risk of infection.
Urinary tract infections are a common side effect among those who self-cath.
Do your best to keep your hands off the catheter tube to prevent contamination, and maintain a sterile environment.
On top of that, using your intermittent catheter just once and then disposing of it is a great way to reduce your risk of urinary tract infections.
Talk to your doctor and follow their instructions.
Pay close attention to your physician’s instructions for cathing. They’ll let you know how often to cath per day and if you should record your urine output.
There are many misconceptions about cathing, which is why you should always be attentive and upfront with any questions to ensure you fully understand how to cath correctly.
Consider your catheter supplier options carefully.
Not all medical supply companies are equal when it comes to their brand selection, customer service, or product knowledge.
If you are asking “Where can I buy catheters?,” consider 180 Medical, the leading intermittent catheter supplier in the nation.
180 Medical offers a wide and varied selection of male length catheters from all of the top brands and manufacturers, including the newest catheter products with the latest advances in technology.
Using a catheter after prostate cancer surgery doesn’t have to be scary or embarrassing to discuss. We’re happy to help you!