Question

  1. I am not a nurse but I have a question that I am hoping someone here (being a nurse) would be able to answer. I apologize if I am out of line in posting here since I am not a nurse.

    I am scheduled for a two-level spinal fusion on January 5, 2005. I am very nervous about the surgery but I have accepted that I need it and am anticipating feeling much better once I have fully recovered. The thing I am mostly nervous about (and this is really stupid I know) is I know I have to have a urinary catheter in for a while after the surgery. My pre-op appointment with the surgeon is this Thursday (12/30) so I haven't had a chance to ask much about it. My main concern is that they don't put it in until after I'm knocked out for surgery. Is that possible or do they have to put it in before I'm out? I'm a male if that makes any difference.

    Also, any advice or experiences anyone can give me about this?

    Thank you!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   michw2
    I am in nursing school. I think if you feel that way talk with your Dr. If you want them to put it in before surgery tell them if you want to be knocked out then tell them. Just voice want ever you want. Hope that helps.
  4. by   oramar
    It has been my experience that in most cases the Foley cath is inserted after patient is under. I have seen a few exceptions but those were special circumstances.
  5. by   fusion
    Thank you both. I appreciate the information. I emailed my surgeon about the cath a few weeks ago along with a few other questions I had. When I made the decision to have surgery he mentioned that I could email him with questions. Unfortunately, his answers were very short and not at all helpful. I understand he is busy, though, so I'm hoping asking in person will be better.

    If anyone else has anything else to add it would be great.

    Thanks again.
  6. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    I have only had to have one being awake, and that was an emergency situation.

    I agree with RN1, voice your concern to your Dr. More than likely the Dr. will wait until after your anesthesia is in full effect, but just in case, make sure your Dr. knows what you want. After all, it is your body. If it is possible, then I don't see your Dr. having a problem with it.

    Good luck on your surgery, and I wish you a speedy recovery!
  7. by   Celia M
    In most cases if a catheter is needed after surgery it will be put in during surgery while you are under anesthesia. Just check with your MD on Thursday. Good luck and speedy recoevery
  8. by   BAndersonRN
    I work in a Neuroscience unit where we frequently care for the postoperative lumbar fusion patient. Any reasonable/kind surgical team will insert the urinary catheter after your anesthesia induction (ie. you wont feel it or remember a thing) Immediately after surgery you'll wake up in the recovery room (PACU) where they'll monitor and assess you for the first hour or so after surgery, from there you'll go to your hospital bed. The catheter will stay in over night (you'll probably be greatful its there since you won't have to get out of bed to go pee.. FYI your back is gonna be SORE!!!!!) By the next day you should be getting up out of bed (probably with a back brace/walker) One you are consistantly getting up out of bed and walking (be it short distances) the catheter will come out. In all honesty it does feel a bit "strange" when it comes out, similar to urinating.. but it is not painful. Good luck with your surgery, I hope all goes well!!! Just remember to keep moving, and the first couple days are the worst as far as pain, but each day out from there will get better and better!!!! Take care!
  9. by   Midwest4me
    I'd voiced the same concern prior to my hysterectomy 2 yrs ago. They were happy to do it while I was under anesthesia right before surgery. I see no reason why you should have to endure that while awake. Best of luck and heal fast!
  10. by   Thunderwolf
    I agree with BandersonRN. I also work on an Ortho-neuro med/surgical floor. Let us know how your surgery turns out.
  11. by   Mystery5
    Dear Fuson,

    You are really cute. It's nice that you came here to ask. How sweet of you. I'm sure you'll do fine. And yes, I would feel exactly the same. It would be embarrassing and uncomfortable and I would hate it!:uhoh21:
  12. by   Antikigirl
    "Unfortunately, his answers were very short and not at all helpful. I understand he is busy, though, so I'm hoping asking in person will be better."

    I think I have a bit of advice that may help you with this probelm too..

    Please remember, you are going in for surgery...and the more informed you are, the least likely you are to be full of anxiety or doubts. Insist that your questions be answered in a way you understand before you sign the consent forms. Having the surgeon explain exactly what is going to go on, what your recovery will include, and after hospital care is something you should know, and there is no excuse for not getting the information told to you, or written for you in a way you understand!

    Doctors have a very important jobs (same with us nurses), we take care of you, nothing to be taken lightly! Informing you of what is going to go on with your body is a large part of that...and no one can so busy as not to take some time out to explain things to your satisfaction. Part of your job is to be an advocate for yourself, and make sure that you voice your concerns so that Doctors and Nurses know and can help you to understand.

    We can't help patients unless we know what the probelm is...and anxiety about things like catheters, or pain issues, or even some fears about activities you may wish to resume as soon as possible (IE work, how much you can lift and when, when can you take a shower or bath, and yes..intamacy issues too!) can only be helped if we are informed that they are present.

    People underestimate their anxiety or concerns...especially in regards to Physicians. People don't want to 'bother' a doctor with these probelms, but in addition to nurses who will provide information...it is very important to get much of the information from that particular surgeon who did the surgery as you can...you two are working together on this, best to have the expectations on the table before the surgery!

    If I could make a suggestion...write down your concerns and talk to the surgeon before you sign the concent forms. Even I do this, because..well gee it isn't like we are a bit nervous before this...so if I write them down I actually remember to ask! OR if I get sidetracked I can get back to the point by looking at my list! I also don't let that doc out of that room till I have my questions answered! I am about to be rather volunerable in his care, so I really want to make sure that I can depend on this person...and that includes time if I need it!

    I hope for a speedy recovery for you after this surgery. My patients that have had this done sing the praises after their recovery, and say it is definately worth it! Remember that you play a huge role in recovery, and make sure that your questions get answered, and you follow the instructions given to you..yes, including that special time a nurse walks in and tells you you have to walk for the first time.
  13. by   NurseFirst
    When I had my hysterectomy, there was something in the surgery department that indicated they had the class, named above--which is actually the name of a book and a tape. The class was short, the tape was mostly about relaxation. What I liked is that, having gone thru the class, a few things happened: 1) I put a note on my chest for the anesthesiologist to say certain positive, healing things to me as I was going under, and as I came out; 2) I was able to take into surgery a tape recorder with whatever I wanted on it; normally, I guess, it would be the relaxation session on the back side of the tape.

    I didn't really hear either suggestions, and I taped some music (very beautiful and moving religous music from my religous tradition) which I really enjoy. Everyone was impressed with how well I healed. I ate ahead of schedule (I'd had abdominal surgery) and the nurses remarked on how well I was walking after surgery (about 18 hours after). I DID like the catheter. With an IV in one arm and a pulse ox on the other hand, I didn't feel like dealing with the logistics of getting to the bathroom! (Since I had abdominal surgery, my bowels weren't working at first).

    Good luck with your surgery, and look into the book/tape.

    NurseFirst
  14. by   fusion
    I want to thank everyone who responded to my question. It makes me feel much more relaxed knowing that I will most likely be able to wait until after I am knocked out to get the catheter inserted. It's still not a pleasant thought but I can deal with it.

    I will definitely post an update when I am up to it after the surgery.

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