Bladder Issues: Not emptying properly and low sodium

Posted by amilacek67 @amilacek67, Jul 27 10:02pm

My 78 yr old father is experiencing issues with bladder not emptying properly. He has been told he has low sodium issues. Over the past 2 months he has been in the ED twice for low sodium, and has also had severe confusion due to that. He was discharged last week after a week long stay at Henry Ford Hospital. He was told to follow up with a Urologist, that took a week to get in. He was seen today, they removed the catheter he went home with, but was told to self cath 1-2 times per day. We are wondering what could be the next step since the Urologist in Midland, MI didn’t answer our concerns. It can’t be normal to go on with Cath correct ? Is there a bladder procedure ? If anyone could give us some insight or if he needs a referral there, it would be greatly appreciated. I could also send additional info.
Thank you

Liked by Leonard

Hi @amilacek67, I can understand your apprehension and questioning whether more should be done. I'm tagging fellow members @predictable @jaredycahill @victor1930 and @johnbishop who may have some experience to share.

Amilacek67, I think a second opinion might be wise. Does your father have any prostate issues like an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)? Was the prostate examined by digital rectal exam (DRE)?

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Hi @amilacek67, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @colleenyoung and other members. As a 77 year old father with a daughter that's always looking out for dad, I would like to thank you for advocating for your dad. I agree with Colleen that a second opinion might be a wise course. I have an enlarged prostate and have been diagnosed with BPH. I have never had a complete blockage but I do have problems emptying my bladder and take Tamsulosine daily to help.

I had been thinking about discussing a new procedure with my doctor to see if it would help me…."Steam treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia is performed in the clinic and takes about one hour. It doesn't require a hospital stay. During the treatment, a tiny needle is inserted into the urethra and positioned within the prostate gland." Steam Therapy – Mayo Clinic Health System: https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/locations/eau-claire/services-and-treatments/urology/steam-therapy

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Hi @amilacek67. As we members of Mayo Connect have come to expect, @colleenyoung has homed-in on a key question: Could your father's urinating problem be caused by an enlarged prostate pressing into the bladder and squeezing in on the urethra that carries urine away from the bladder. Both my father and I have dealt with that problem. We both had surgery to remove a golf-ball-size pile of prostate tissue pieces after our BPH was diagnosed. The surgery was performed with a scope and snipper inserted up our urethra so the only tissue cut was prostate tissue, the pieces of which were washed out through the urethra. In my case, the operation 10 years ago opened the urethra and has let the urine flow ever since.

My father's case was more similar to your father's. His prostate had blocked the urine from leaving the bladder, and the surgery could not fix the blockage that kept urine from emptying the bladder through the urethra. So he was required to catheterize himself, which became a problem as he passed age 80. After several months, his urologist urged him to have a permanent artificial urethra installed surgically, carrying his urine through his body wall and a tube that connected to a plastic sack in his underwear. He emptied the sack a few times each day for a number of years until he died at age 95.

I want to emphasize two points about our experiences. First, urologists told us that my father's case was very rare in that surgery was needed to fix his prostate's blockage of the urethra; the remedy for him was one of several alternatives for dealing with impounded urine. Second, there was never a mention of low sodium as a cause of our bladders' malfunction. In my case, I have had the good fortune of a genius nephrologist who has provided my therapies for kidney problems for the last 15 years, so I have dealt with every major aspect of urinary problems. Finally, Colleen's interest in whether your father can pursue a second opinion from another urologist is sound advice. Hope that can be arranged. Martin

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@colleenyoung

Hi @amilacek67, I can understand your apprehension and questioning whether more should be done. I'm tagging fellow members @predictable @jaredycahill @victor1930 and @johnbishop who may have some experience to share.

Amilacek67, I think a second opinion might be wise. Does your father have any prostate issues like an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)? Was the prostate examined by digital rectal exam (DRE)?

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Thank you for your reply, yes I did find out he has had some Prostate issues and they are addressing that with more or change in meds. He is also seeing a Neurologist for some tic/tremor like issues.

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