Urine Retention – Treatment of Urine Retention

Urinary retention does not occur with prior warnings. The inability to pass urine is termed as urinary retention. It can either start gradually or suddenly in a person. In either of the cases, prompt medical treatment is necessary. It can be painful. Some people have also found to have pain in the chest, heavy seating, high anxiety and high level of blood pressure along with the urinary complication. Heart attack, kidney failure and bladder damage are the major complications in case of urinary retention.

Treatment of Urine Retention
In acute cases, the following methods have been successfully used to treat the condition and reduce the severity of the symptoms –

  • urinary catheterization
  • placement of a Prostatic stent
  • placement of a suprapubic cystostomy (this can relieves retention instantly)

In more sever and chronic cases, like Benign prostatic hypertrophy the following methods are followed –

  • alpha blocker therapy
  • 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor therapy
  • surgical treatment with prostatectomy
  • transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

Diagnosis of Urinary Retention
Several tests are performed to diagnose the condition and severity of the symptoms. A few of them are –

  • Medical history and physical examination –
    • The symptoms in a urinary retention condition, are itself a diagnostic sign.
    • The analysis of the complaints of symptoms and physical examination of the lower abdomen can confirm the condition.
    • Your physician can even feel your distended bladder by tapping on your lower belly gently.
  • Urine Sample –
    • Urine samples may be examined for signs of infection.
  • Bladder Scan
    • Portable ultrasound devices can be used to scan the bladder to measure how much urine is present inside the bladder.
  • Cystoscopy
    • Cytoscope may be used to view the inside of the bladder and urethra. It has lenses resembling a microscope or a telescope.
  • X Ray and Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan –
    • If the urinary tract is narrowed somewhere or presence of any obstruction can be noticed through a conventional x ray.
    • If the bladder is out of its normal position can also be found out through an X-ray examination.
    • And CT scans may be used to view the internal organs.
  • Blood Test for Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) –
    • Men may be advised to undergo a blood test to measure their PSA.
    • This substance when present in the blood sample, is an indication about the development of prostate cancer or other prostate complications.
  • Prostate Fluid Sample –
    • A male patient may be asked for a prostate fluid sample.
    • This sample is required to check for the prostatitis.
    • Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate which can cause the swelling of the prostrate and pinching of the urethra.
  • Urodynamic Tests –
    • Different techniques are used to measure the ability of the bladder to empty itself completely and steadily. These are called Urodynamic tests.

Catheterization to treat Urine retention
The treatment begins with inserting a catheter through the urethra. This will drain the bladder. This will de-stress the filled bladder and prevent permanent damage to the bladder.

Treatments to Relieve Prostate Enlargement
To treat prostate enlargement, you may be recommended from medication to surgery depending on the severity and complication.

Surgery to Treat women with Cystocele or Rectocele
Women would often need a surgery to lift their sagging rectum or bladder. The surgeon will make an incision in the vaginal wall to find the hole in the membrane. The vaginal wall is called the fascia which is a wall of tissues. It separates the vagina from other organs in the pelvic region. Sutures are placed in the fascia to close the defect. The excess tissue is removed and the incisions are closed.

Treatments Urethral Stricture in Males
Dilation is performed in males with urethral stricture. Increasingly wider tubes are inserted into the urethra. These tubes will widen the stricture. Alternately, a small balloon is inflated at the end of a catheter, inside the urethra.
An internal urethrotomy may be done to repair the stricture. The catheter is moved up to the stricture. Either knife or laser beam is used to make an incision which will open the stricture.
Some surgeons also prefer placing a wire mesh tube to keep the passage open. This tube is named as a stent.

Complications of Treatments for Urinary Retention
There are chances of infection in the urinary tract from prolonged use of the Catheter. Because during catherization, the chances of entry increases for the bacteria. So extra care must be taken while placing a catheter and during its usage.
When transurethral surgery is performed to treat an enlarged prostate, it may lead to loss of control in the bladder also causing erection problems in a few males. But these complications are usually temporary.

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