Some men suffer with bladder pain following catheter removal after prostate cancer treatment—for several weeks.

What are the causes of this and what can be done about it?

“Most of the time, bladder pain after catheter removal goes away relatively quickly, on the order of a few hours to a few days,” says Michael Herman, MD, director of urologic oncology at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, NY.

“A little bit of burning can be caused by some irritation of the urethra itself,” continues Dr. Herman.

“Other pain can be caused by the fact that the bladder also has to be moved and reconstructed during a prostatectomy.

“This can lead to bladder spasms, which is sometimes felt as lower abdominal pain or an intense urge to urinate.

“If burning is very bothersome, a medicine such as Pyridium, which is a local anesthetic, can be used.

“For bladder spasms, avoid caffeine, alcohol and constipation. If severe, various medications can be used for bladder spasms.

“Finally, very occasionally, bladder pain can be a sign of poor healing. If you have any questions, check with your surgeon.”

Information on Prostate Cancer

• This disease is the second leading cancer death in men, behind lung cancer.

• It kills about 27,000 men in the U.S. every year.

• When caught early it’s curable.

• Men should not be “afraid” to inform their doctor about new symptoms such as difficulty with urination, a weak urine stream, feeling a full bladder even after voiding, a just-discovered lump, painful ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Prostate cancer can cause these issues.

• A high PSA doesn’t always mean prostate cancer, but a low PSA doesn’t always rule it out, either.

• If you’re hesitant to speak to your doctor about prostate cancer because you fear problems with catheter removal and bladder pain stemming from the treatment … bear in mind that not all cases require surgical treatment.

dr. herman
Dr. Herman’s interests include reducing the over-diagnosis and over-treatment of prostate cancer by utilizing the latest biomarkers and imaging techniques. He is at the forefront of treatment and research of urologic cancers.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 


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