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Tips for Cathing After Prostate Cancer Surgery

by Jessica July 13 2018 06:23
tips for catheterization after prostate cancer surgery


Each year, nearly 165,000 males in the United States are diagnosed with prostate cancer.

early detection and prevention of prostate cancerProstate cancer is the most common cancer in men other than skin cancer, and it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men according to the American Cancer Society.

However, this slow-growing cancer is often very treatable and isn't necessarily fatal, particularly in cases where it is diagnosed early. This is why it's so important to make regular or annual appointments to see a urologist. Early detection is key.


Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Surgery

For those who are diagnosed 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 may have to undergo a partial or full removal of the prostate by surgery, which is called a prostatectomy. This procedure is done to prevent the diseased portions or all of this walnut-sized gland from the body in order to prevent the cancer from spreading.

prostate cancer surgeryWhile it is considered a safe operation and usually very successful, there can be some side effects. 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 experience urine leakage or symptoms of 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.

Depending on the symptoms and the severity, a protective undergarment or adult briefs may be a good option to absorb any leakage until the symptoms subside.

However, in other cases, it may be best to use an intermittent catheter to help empty the bladder and prevent urine 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 or brand of catheter is the best choice for everyone across the board. 

There are multiple types of disposable catheters available on the market today, so you have plenty of product options from which to choose. When it's time to begin selecting an intermittent catheter that will work best for you, be sure to consult with your prescribing healthcare professional to determine together what may work best for you, taking into account your lifestyle, preferences, medical condition, and anatomy. 

Straight intermittent catheters are considered the original technology. This type of catheter is uncoated and must be manually lubricated with separate lubricating jelly before insertion. Lubrication is typically sold separately in easy-to-open options like single-use travel-size packets or capped tubes. These are a simple catheter option, and some men prefer these due to their overall affordability and practicality.


straight caths for men


Hydrophilic catheters can be a great option, especially for those new to self-cathing, because of their convenience, sterility, 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. 


hydrophilic catheters for men


Closed system catheters are also great for sterile, no-touch cathing. Frequent travelers and those in wheelchairs also find closed systems to be incredibly handy and often easier to maneuver than standard straight catheters, since they are all-in-one systems with integrated collection bags. These often come with additional insertion supplies like ambidextrous gloves, antiseptic wipes, and other accessories to keep the cathing process hygienic.


closed system catheters for men


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.

Coudé tips are offered along with straight tips in every type of catheter listed above. Availability will depending 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. There are ways to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections, such as using a touch-free catheter like a hydrophilic catheter or closed system catheter.

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.

Be sure to pay close attention to your doctors’ and nurses’ instructions regarding catheter use, including how frequently to catheterize per day and whether or not you should record your urine output for a period of time.

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. 


urologist prostate


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 an wide and varied selection of male length catheters from all of the top brands and manufacturers, including the newest products on the market with the latest advances in technology. 


intermittent catheter brands at 180 medical


On top of that, our team of trained and compassionate Specialists offer customer service that is second to none. We're happy to answer your questions, provide helpful instruction and educational materials, listen to all your concerns and preferences, and help you find the right catheter for your needs.

Using a catheter after prostate cancer surgery doesn't have to be scary or embarrassing to discuss.

If you're ready to look into your your catheter product options, give us a call today and find out how easy it is to get your first order of catheters. We'll be honored to help you as you heal from your surgery and transition into self-cathing.



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The Link Between Urinary Incontinence & Depression in Women

by Jessica February 17 2018 00:22
urinary incontinence and depression in women link

Being afraid to sneeze or laugh too hard...rushing to make it to the restroom in time...worrying about leakage...

These probably sound like familiar concerns if you're one of the 13 million people in the United States who live with urinary incontinence.

When you have urinary incontinence, fears like this are normal. However, you may find that your mood has persistently worsened over time, and you may be dealing with feelings of sadness or hopelessness that are hard if not impossible to shake off.

Although a healthcare professional will need to see you in order to properly diagnose you and get you started on a treatment plan that gets your life turned back around and back on track, it's very possible that you could be suffering from depression related to incontinence.

Still, we understand you probably want answers now before you schedule an appointment to see your doctor, and 180 Medical has the need-to-know info about incontinence and depression. We've also included some helpful resources and support options in this blog. Read on to learn more!


Who Is Affected By Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence can happen to anyone at any age, but studies show that women experience urinary incontinence twice as much as men do.

Why is that? The main factor is the pelvic anatomy of women and how it differs from that of men, as well as hormonal fluctuations that occur during menopause. 


Other potential causes of female incontinence may include:

  • Bladder muscle weakness
  • Pelvic floor weakness
  • Urinary tract infections, which can increase the urge the void your bladder and sometimes cause leakage
  • Being over the healthy weight for your body type and height
  • A medical condition from birth like spina bifida, which can also affect the bladder, depending upon severity
  • Side effects from certain medicines
  • Drinking diuretic liquids like coffee, tea, and colas
  • Certain neurological disorders

Women are also more susceptible to UTIs (urinary tract infections) and bladder infections, and this can sometimes worsen incontinence. This is because UTIs tend to increase the urge to void the bladder, sometimes involuntarily.

The additional risk of infections in women is also due to anatomy. The vagina, urethra, and anus are positioned more closely together on the female body, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel up the urethra.


depression in females with urinary incontinence

Can Urinary Incontinence Cause Depression?

As mentioned earlier, there actually is a strong link between urinary incontinence and depression, particularly in younger women. A recent paper published by researchers took a look at this connection and tried to find out the causes as well as what could be done to treat both conditions. 

One potential cause identified could be weight gain and/or childbirth, which are both commonly related to urinary incontinence as well as depression (particularly postpartum depression in the case of new mothers). The reason for this is that when the pelvic floor muscles are stretched, whether due to bearing a child, gaining weight, or other conditions, it can make it more difficult to tighten the muscles that close off the sphincter of the bladder, and this can result in mild to excessive leakage or dribbling of urine.

Another reason may be related to societal stigma regarding disorders affecting the bladder and bowels. People living with incontinence may feel like they're totally alone, or they may experience shame or embarrassment about their condition.

The research ultimately concluded that more must be done to educate women on prevention and treatment options for incontinence as well as depression. 


Treatment of Incontinence and Depression

If you are experiencing urinary incontinence and/or feelings of depression, we want to assure you that there is nothing to feel ashamed of. Millions of other people are going through this too, and even if you feel some embarrassment addressing these conditions with your doctor, they will not judge or shame you in any way. Healthcare professionals want to help their patients heal and find proper treatment plans in order to improve your condition and your overall quality of life.

Treatments depend on your personal medical history as well as the severity and type of symptoms you're experiencing.

Your doctor may also want you to record a bladder diary for several days or weeks as well, which may sound like a pain, but they may be able to provide you with an easy-to-use booklet in which to record your symptoms, when and how often you're urinating or having accidents, and other information.

urinary incontinence bladder diary appThere are also some helpful smartphone apps, such as UroBladderDiary, which may be easier for you to use. Recording this kind of information in an app rather than a written journal can also be a real help if you want to keep your symptoms private from those around you. 

While it may seem daunting right now, the sooner you can schedule an appointment with your doctor, the sooner you can get on the road to recovery.

Even if it doesn't feel like it right now, there is light ahead.


Helpful Resources and Support

A few resources and options for support, both online and in-person, can definitely be useful when you're not sure where to go next for information. 

These links may be helpful in your journey back to wellness
:

Incontinence Support Center: A Caring Community
This website has helpful articles as well as an online forum where you can talk to other women who are experiencing the same symptoms as you are.

Daily Strength Urinary Incontinence Support Group
Connect online with others living with urinary incontinence and other bladder issues. You can find support, encouragement, and tips from fellow women living with incontinence.

ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) Support Groups Near You

Find free support groups near you. This helpful website also offers facts about depression and anxiety, tips on how to deal with your feelings, and more.

Postpartum Support International
Learn more about life after having a child, including postpartum depression and potential therapy options. You also have options to call a support line and chat with a mental health expert, join an online support group for other women living with postpartum depression, and more. 

Crisis Text Line
This free support is available 24 hours a day, every day, for those in crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor can respond and text with you on a secure platform and help you.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Sometimes depression and feelings of hopelessness can become so severe that you don't feel like there is any other way out of your problems, but there always is. You can visit this website, or if you need someone to speak with immediately, simply call their toll-free hotline at 1-800-273-8255 at any time of day, and someone can speak with you.


Intermittent Catheterization As Incontinence Treatment

treat your incontinence and depressionIf your doctor determines that something as simple as intermittent catheterization can help treat your urinary incontinence, our Catheter Specialists at 180 Medical are always ready to lend you a compassionate ear and walk you through your first experience of getting the right female catheter products for your individual needs. 

You will never be shamed or made to feel embarrassed when you speak with anyone at 180 Medical. This is our specialty, and we speak to many people of all ages and genders who require the use of intermittent catheters, ostomy products, and other related medical supplies.

Our goal is to help turn your life around, so we'll do what we can to make the experience of getting your catheters and other female incontinence supplies as easy and worry-free as possible. 

With the right resources and support behind you, you could be feeling like your old self again soon! If you're experiencing symptoms of incontinence or depression, it's a great idea to get the ball rolling by calling your doctor to schedule an appointment to diagnose your symptoms today.



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Know the Differences of Female Incontinence

by Catheter Experts October 17 2011 16:46
Female incontinence is a very common problem, and it doesn't just affect elderly women. While the statistic is high in women above age 60 – over 50% of women in that age group require the use of female catheters – the problem reaches every age group. Female incontinence is reported to affect 7% of women aged 20 to 39, and 17% of women 40 to 59.

Female incontinence is categorized into three types based on the cause of the incontinence; female catheters are usually only necessary for two of those types.

Stress Incontinence

The mildest form of female incontinence is stress incontinence: this type is categorized by a few drops of urine escaping when pressure if placed on the bladder muscles. The stress can be from something as simple as coughing or laughing, or from something more strenuous like lifting a heavy weight – it’s the most common type of female incontinence and is typically the form experienced by the younger age group. Childbirth can also trigger stress incontinence, since the pelvis and abdominal muscles are experiencing intense strain.

Stress incontinence does not require the use of female catheters, but can be treated with medication or physical therapy. Kegel exercises are often an effective treatment, involving the contraction and relaxation of the muscles used for regulation of urine flow.

Urge Incontinence

Often called overactive bladder or OAB, urge incontinence is characterized by a strong need to urinate and a loss of bladder control. The muscle controlling urine flow almost becomes paralyzed, and urine flow cannot be inhibited.

This type of female incontinence can be triggered by an infection, muscular or neurological disease, or even a simple irritation. The latter is temporary and does not always require the use of female catheters to treat the problem, while disease is usually degenerative and may necessitate the use of catheters for a lifetime. If the cause is an infection, female catheters may be used to relieve the symptoms for the duration of the infection. Medication and physical therapy may be useful to lessen the effects of an overactive bladder, but often are not entirely successful at alleviating female incontinence completely.

Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence is often indicative of bladder problems or neurological disease and damage.  This form is characterized by an increased frequency of urination and an inability of the bladder to empty completely during urination. More often than not, physical therapy is not successful for overflow incontinence; female catheters can be an effective form of treatment by emptying the bladder entirely. Other treatments include stimulation of the muscles for urinary control by electrical impulses: this can enhance the bladder’s ability to contract and relax normally, emptying the contents entirely. Insertion of a blockage device in the urethra can also effectively treat female incontinence.  

Because of the prevalence of female incontinence, many women consider it “normal”. But whether treatment is a simple exercise or the use of a female catheter, there is no need to suffer the stresses and worries of urinary incontinence. You’re not alone, and you don’t need to suffer alone.  Be sure to talk to your doctor about the correct female catheters for your needs.