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Catheters - Horrible or ok?

I'm having an ALIF in just a few days, and of all the things to be worried about, I'm terrified of getting a catheter! Just the thought of tubes and stuff... down there.... makes me really nervous.

For those of you who have gotten surgery, and had a catheter put in, was the experience okay? Will I not even notice it? Does it hurt? Any advice is definitely appreciated.


  • Whith my PLIF they put it in when I was already under. It wasn't pleasant but when I woke up one of my legs was numb and I couldn't walk. I think I used it till I was up and walking (2-3 days).

    I also had one when my daughter was born. They put it in when I was awake. It was very unpleasant to say the least.

    Hopefully it will be put in when your under. It was weird to have it, but honestly I was so out of it I needed it.

    Good luck,


  • There have been several similar posts in the past, started by people who are worried about having a catheter. :O

    It seems that they are generally put in once you are unconcious and that it makes your first day or so after surgery much easier. Lots of people worry about having them taken out, but most say that it is not as bad as they feared. Often the comment is made that you will be glad that you had one!

    Well, I didn't have one after my lumbar fusion and I wished, during the first day, that I did have one!
    I was told that the reason they didn't use one was that it was another possibility of introducing infection.

    Believe me, trying to lift myself off the bed for the nurse to slide a bedpan under me was no joke just hours after my surgery. Then, I found it impossible to 'go' lying down. It was quite a few hours and feeling very uncomfortable before I was able to go.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it. There will be other things that you will be focussed on!! @)
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  • Thank you guys for the responses! I've heard that they get you up and walking pretty soon afterward. I'm wondering if I'll have to walk with it in? That just seems super unpleasant.
  • I had one when I had my son because of the epidural. I don't even remember noticing it, and I really don't recall it being uncomfortable to take out!

    Discomfort wise, I suspect that's going to be the least of our worries after surgery ;)
  • I had one with my ALIF. They told me they were putting it in right as they were starting to put me under, so I really didn't feel anything. they removed it in the recovery room, and I really did not feel anything at that time either. I got up, with help, and walked to the bathroom later that afternoon.
    Hope all goes well for both of you!
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  • The first day, you will be glad you have it, cause you wont want to get up immedieatly after surgery and after all the IV's, if you dont have one, you will have to use bedpan YUK and HURT. I have had them many times, and they are not even really noticeable. So , dont worry, no big deal. Focus on the positive, getting better! Good Luck!
  • Thankfully, I did not have to use the bedpan!
  • Yes, they will probably get you out of bed the second day, but just for a short (few step) walk with the catheter (and probably IV) in. No big deal.

  • I had it for about 4 days after my PLIF. I thought I'd hate it, but come to find out ya need it. I got to tell ya, before surgery I told my family that "I ain't wearing no damn hospital gown that shows off my business and I ain't gettin' no damn catheter"

    After surgery the hospital gown was the farthest thing from my mind! I am pretty sure the gown was all pulled up around my neck and my mom and sisters saw whatever there was so see. I couldn't have cared less right then. I don't even think I knew I had the catheter for a couple days!

    Don't worry 'bout the's really no biggie and you'll find it quite helpful when you don't feel like getting out of bed.

  • Really in the whole scheme of everything - this is no biggie. The "trick" when they put it in or remove if you are awake is to take a deep breath in while they are doing it. ;)

    Walking around with it is no biggie either.
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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