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Did you say he still had the SPC in? If so, there won’t be enough pee and pressure in the bladder to cause a strong stream because the SPC will have drained the pee.
It goes back and forth. I totally understand your fear though. I have it too. I would really rather not have to go through this again. Though having done it once, I at least know what to expect:-P.
I had urethroplasty. I don’t recall – did you have that also this time? The recurrence rate for strictures repaired by urethroplasty is in the single digits, percentage-wise, meaning VERY low. The odds are definitely in your favor. But urine flow does wax and wane for me. If I’ve been sitting down for a long time, it might be a lower flow than if I’ve been active, etc. But it has always bounced back to normal. So I’m feeling pretty confident after 3 years.
I hope that helps.
Thanks for this Lewis! The more folks that share their stories, the less stress folks will have due to lack of information about this stuff.
Good luck moving forward!
To chime in on your questions:
1. Was urethroplasty the right choice? Absolutely! No question about it. Especially if you can have the ETE. The only issue with the ETE, ever, is whether your stricture can be properly fixed with ETE (stricture needs to be small enough). If someone does have a large stricture or multiple strictures, things can get murky on the topic. But for most, urethroplasty is the gold standard.
2. For what questions to ask, see my post here: Some Questions To Ask Before Your Urethroplasty if you haven’t already.
3. Once you’re home, you’ll want a decent donut pillow, the inflatable kind. The hospital gave me one, but it developed a leak almost immediately. I got one from CVS and it lasted for weeks. Just make sure you stop using as soon as it is tolerable to sit on a normal soft pillow! I made the mistake of staying on the donut pillow for too long and developed a large hemorrhoid problem:-P. Also, I’d say make sure you get some tighty-whities, if you don’t already wear them. It may seem counterintuitive, but you need some pressure and support for your scrotum during healing. Things will hear faster. And it may be a good idea to get some small alcohol swabs to clean the area where the post-surgery catheter comes out. OH, and I recommend getting good catheter securement devices – the kind that stick to your leg. You’ll have a leg bag and you need it NOT to pull on the catheter! The stretchy velcro ones don’t hold up to the weight of bag as it fills up. Your doctor may give you some. But if not, see the home page on this site. There is a little banner where you can buy a 10-pack of GRIP-LOK stickers.
Hope that helps!
I’m sorry to hear about that. Definitely go to your doctor soonest! Obviously I cannot diagnose anyone since I am not a medical professional. And as always, my advise for anything unexpected like your situation is to talk to your doctor.
One thing you said makes me wonder. You said your stricture was 2.5 centimeters and that your surgery was end-to-end. Was your end-to-end supplemented by a buccal graft (or any graft?) In this study, which only addresses bulbar strictures, BTW, so may not apply to you if your stricture was elsewhere, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684365/), check page 2. It says that if a stricture is 2-3 cm in length, “Some authors have expressed concern that bridging such long defects could lead to chordee and sexual dysfunction and have advocated the use of buccal mucosa substitution urethroplasty for bulbar urethral strictures >2 cm in length.” But despite that, the success rate of end-to-end is still pretty high, even for strictures >2 cm (about 87%), but is not as high as <2 cm (90+%).
From what I've been reading (clinical studies only - not just someone's opinion), sexual dysfunction is not considered "unsuccessful" if the patient can pee normally after the surgery. However, since you are saying your flow is back to what it was pre-surgery, it sounds like you may be one of the unlucky % of people for whom end-to-end was not successful.
But like I said earlier, you definitely should see your doctor about this.
I was also interested to hear that you are having gastric difficulties. I have also been having tummy-trouble since the surgery. Obviously this could be anything NOT related to urethroplasty, especially with only 2 of us reporting it. But it would be interesting to hear if anyone else has had gastric trouble post-surgery, even 6 weeks after it (which is where I am).
We'd all be interested to hear how things go for you, and wish you the best! Let us know what your doctor says!
Sounds like things are gong well, Chris. Thanks! I scoff at your 28 days;). But I know what you mean. I am starting to get used to not having a catheter, even though I had one for 6 months. I still sometimes reach down to “clear” it out of the way when going to the bathroom and especially at night while in bed. But I have stopped automatically lifting up the bottom of my shorts when I go in to pee;).
I’m trying something new right now, as far as sitting down. My wife had a kneeling chair in her office/room, and suggested I try that (with the donut for now), and it’s working pretty well. Time will tell. I’ve only been sitting here for about 5 minutes;).
The chair looks like this: Office Star Black Ergonomically Designed Knee Chair
Anyway, thanks again for the updates. I’m looking forward to week 8:)!
Thanks for that update, Chris. I did notice a pokey-bit or two a few weeks ago. I think those ones were the ends, and had been poking out the whole time. Those seem to be gone. But I hadn’t thought of the possibility of sutures breaking down and causing new ends to poke me with. I am not familiar with the properties dissolving stitches for the skin (as opposed to ones that stay inside the body like the ones used on the urethra itself). I’m not even sure there is a difference, though it would seem a bad idea to have stiff and sharp bits inside the body, especially around the urethra, where irritation and scarring was the problem to begin with.
This would be an excellent topic of research. But if you’ve had suture bits coming to the surface, and I’m going through that as well, it would explain the type of surface pain I was talking about.
I also, though, still have quite a bit of swelling deeper inside. I felt that when I was driving on Tuesday (sitting on a pillow).
BTW, I have decided to back off on the driving and doing anything else right now that involves putting my full weight on the incision site, even while leaning back, and even while sitting on a pillow. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of pain while I do those things. But in the late afternoon and evenings, the pain is significantly worse. So I’m just going back to the donut for another week or more.
Thanks again for the update.
Hang in there,Neil!
It had been 3 years, I think, since the previous surgery. And before that I believe it had been like 5 years. Then 3 years before that. I am by no means certain of the cause though. The literature states that most guys never know the cause.
And about your legal case, yes, it does sound like there was negligence in there. I’m glad you are talking to an attorney! Sounds like you have more positive energy and hope now.
Good luck with everything!
I TOTALLY agree with the “many small improvements” thing. That has been exactly my experience as well. I’m actually sitting down on an actual chair today:). I mean without the donut pillow. There are two small cushions there, but a week ago I couldn’t tolerate just sitting on those without the donut.
I’ve been for two walks of about a mile each last week, and I didn’t feel especially winded afterward. So that seems like a good sign. I’m actually going to try driving today – first time since the surgery (tomorrow is the 5-week point for me).
Thanks for posting on the forum too! There are still some kinks to work out, but I’m glad to have the first post here that wasn’t me.