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What Are the Best Tips for Bladder Surgery Recovery?

By B. Chisholm
Updated May 17, 2024
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Depending on the procedure performed, bladder surgery recovery time will differ significantly. There are numerous types of bladder surgery ranging from minor, like removal of bladder stones, to major, such as removal of the entire bladder. In some cases a catheter may be inserted, which requires careful management post-operatively. The surgeon who performs the surgery will inform the patient of all procedures to be followed after the surgery and these should be adhered to closely.

Bladder surgery recovery usually initially occurs in a hospital. Again, the amount of time spent as an in-patient will depend on the procedure which has been done and each individual patient's response. Both in-patient stay and recovery at home may range from a day to a couple of weeks.

During bladder surgery recovery it is often necessary to insert a catheter to allow easy drainage of the bladder while it heals. This will usually be removed before the patient is discharged. In some cases, the catheter may be permanent, either in-dwelling or intermittent. In the case of permanent catheterization, the nursing staff will train the patient on correct catheter care for when they go home. This will be a very important part of bladder surgery recovery.

After any surgery, including bladder surgery, prophylactic antibiotics may be prescribed. This is to prevent any bacterial infection after an invasive procedure. It is very important that the entire course is completed and the prescribing doctor's instructions are followed closely. Should fever develop post-operatively, or persistent pain occur, urgent medical attention should be sought.

Avoidance of heavy lifting and driving is essential to allow healing. After minor procedures involving only local anesthetic and no incision, patient's may be able to drive immediately. The time span will be determined by the surgeon and each patient's progress. In some cases, after minor surgery, gentle exercise may be allowed but this should under no circumstances be exceeded and should be stopped should any pain or discomfort occur.

Again, depending on the procedure which has been performed, it is most often recommended that fluid intake is increased to promote cleaning out of the bladder, especially if a catheter is inserted. In some cases, however, fluid intake may be restricted. Again, the doctor's instructions must be followed closely.

The most important part of bladder surgery recovery is rest. It is vital to allow the body to heal. As with recovery after any surgery, following a healthy diet and not smoking will also help speed up recovery.

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Discussion Comments
By anon329517 — On Apr 10, 2013

I live alone and have 13 stairs to get upstairs to bathroom. What do I need to do the week I have before my bladder is removed from invasive cancer. Can I just have someone stop by after they get off work to do anything or should I be able to deal with recovery by myself at home?

By ALevine — On Aug 07, 2011

Can't believe this hasn't been mentioned yet - apart from antibiotics and berries, one of the best ways to keep the bladder clean and healthy is (yes, you guessed it) water!

As the article mentions, in many cases the doctor prescribes a higher fluid intake. I would strongly suggest staying away from sugary drinks though. Good old water will help to flush out not only bacteria but also the acidic wastes and reduce any burning sensations.

By LTimmins — On Aug 07, 2011

So how soon after bladder surgery could I go back to work? I'm considering asking my doctor if I can get bladder surgery for some issues I've been having, but honestly, what with all the hospital bills, if this involves a long recovery time, I don't think I could afford it. Can you clue me in?

By yseult — On Aug 06, 2011

Hi -- I'm about to get bladder surgery for some long-standing incontinence issues, and I was wondering if anybody else reading this had had the procedure done? I'm really nervous about it, since I've never had any surgery done before, and I really don't know what is involved in the aftercare. Can anybody walk me through it?

By jsmay — On Aug 05, 2011

@nefret - Actually, yes! Cranberries are a great natural remedy for bladder infections. They create a type of shield on the walls of the bladder that prevent bacteria from clinging on and multiplying.

Drinking fresh or natural cranberries or even eating cranberries is one way that can help. Just be careful to avoid cranberries or drinks that contain sugar. Use honey as a sweetener instead.

By nefret — On Aug 04, 2011

I've read that certain berries or cranberries help to reduce bacteria in the bladder. Is there any truth to this?

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