Clothing advice for after bladder surgery and a temporary catheter

Posted by rainyday541 @rainyday541, Jul 31, 2019

I will be having surgery on my bladder in a couple of weeks and will be coming home with a catheter for two weeks. I am female. What type of clothing will I need while wearing this catheter? Does anyone have any advice? What did you do to make this a more positive experience?

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Hi @rainyday541, I'd like to bring @gardeningjunkie and @ggm43 to the conversation as they have both had bladder surgery and may be able to offer you advice or support.

How are you feeling going into the surgery? What advice has your doctor given you?


I had this surgery, plus fiber allergies so this also had to be considered. My catheters were removed before discharge for my bladder mesh surgery and also the bladder sling surgery so hopefully someone that needed to wear catheters has answers. After all surgery's for clothing I wear loose fitting, 100% cotton muu-muus or housedresses so nothing is binding and for you a dress would make cleaning of catheter easier. Plus I don't like the feel of a waist band after surgery. My surgeries were vaginal and wore a panty liner for about 2 weeks for a light discharge in my 100% cotton panties.
Yet how can you wear underwear? Can an old fashioned elastic belt worn to hold up the pad be worn with a catheter if you have vaginal discharge? Perhaps you could simply lay on top of a thick cotton towel or mat and allow any drainage to be trapped.
Have you asked your nurse or doctor?


I had a catheter after my kidney transplant surgery. I was totally unsure of what to expect. The nurses took care of everything. I had a long tube that was taped (I think) to my thigh when I was up for a walk, and the collection bag was secured to my hospital gown. I also wore a hospital robe for privacy. I was surprised at how well that worked. My catheter was removed a couple days before my discharge.
When I could start wearing real clothes again, soft and loose was sufficient. My surgical site is in my lower left abdomen.

My tip fo to stay positive is to – Focus your attention on the future, after you are healed. Ask your doctor and nurse(s) questions.
When is your surgery?


I will be home with a catheter for two weeks after surgery. I plan to call the doctors office and ask questions. I just thought someone here would have some insight for me and it would save me a call. Thank you!


@rainyday541, I think that is is a good idea to talk to your doctor because he/might have some information that is specific to his post surgery protocol. I also want to encourage you to keep checking back with this discussion for more responses.


@rainyday541, I think that is is a good idea to talk to your doctor because he/might have some information that is specific to his post surgery protocol. I also want to encourage you to keep checking back with this discussion for more responses.

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Thank you!


I had bladder surgery a few days ago and have to wear a Foley catheter for 3 more days. I'm not having trouble with changing bags (I wear a leg bag during the day and use a large overnight bag at night), but I'm having trouble with bladder spasms pushing out urine so hard that it leaks out at the insertion. When I say "leak," I'm understating. It comes out so hard and so much that I completely soaks a pad and whatever pants I'm wearing (underwear, sleepwear). I have only 3 pairs of pants that fit over the leg bag. Fortunately there's a washing machine and dryer inside my apartment, but even then, I'm sitting here with a bath towel over my legs because nothing is dry yet. 🙁

I love the night bag, but it means I sleep on my back because I'm afraid I'll pinch the tube if I turn over on my side. After a while, that hurts. Also, when I switch to my leg bag in the morning, the catheter isn't draining into it. I called the on-call nurse and she suggested I go to the ER or I could try drinking a LOT of water and pushing down to clear and clogging. I did the water and cleared it, but this morning the same thing happened. Maybe I need to set my alarm and get up a little earlier to get it going?

I discovered that these spasms happen when I bend over. Okay, so now I'll try not to bend over, but I have knee problems and can't squat down.

My advice:
1. Yes, ask your doctor or the nurse how long you'll have the catheter and who to call when you have problems and what hours they're available if you need to come in. My doctor's office is closed on Fridays and the weekend, which means the ER if I have problems.

2. Before surgery, I bought some "light days" sanitary pads and some Depend incontinence underwear. I found that light incontinence pads with "wings" almost seemed to route the urine spray down my leg. Panty liners without wings work better for me. At night I use the Depend underwear and lay a towel over a piece of plastic, but so far I've haven't needed any of those at night. Still, mattresses are expensive, and I don't want to take a chance on leaks.

3. I'm not in pain or anything, but these leaks have kept me at home. If possible, clear your calendar and reschedule your appointments so you won't have that to worry about.

That's all I have. If anyone has any other tips, I'd love to see them. 🙂


Sounds like you need to take an anticholinergic medication like Ditropan. These drugs calm the bladder reducing spasms. My dad was a Quadraplegic and took Ditropan. It was quite effective but that was years ago. They may have more effective meds today.
Good luck,


Thank you for mentioning that. They did give me a prescription for phenazopyridine (brand names Pyridium, Uristat). The label said to take it for pain, but after the first day, there wasn't much pain. When I started having the spasms, which weren't really that painful, just uncomfortable, I looked up the medication and found that it is used to "relieve symptoms caused by irritation of the urinary tract such as pain, burning, and the feeling of needing to urinate urgently or frequently." I've started taking it three times a day, as directed, so maybe that will help.


@mar2a I’m jumping in here. Yes, pyridium is good for any bladder irritations. You want to take a break from it, though, to see if the spasms have stopped. Did you doctor say how long you might experience irritation or spasms?

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