How do I get access to a WOC Nurse at Mayo Clinic Rochester?

Posted by bucksnort @bucksnort, Dec 29, 2022

My husband recently underwent surgery and post surgery is struggling to manage incontinence.
* Doctor said: Will be "leakage" (cough, sneeze, sudden movement) for a period of time after surger
* Reality: He has no control when he is asleep. "All night" diapers last about 2 hours, so we are up every 1.5 to 2 hours to change his diaper all night long. Restricting fluid intake does not seem to be effective.
* Doctors are not concerned (and it is not overflow leakage due to water retention – a scan was done)

It has been suggested that we might benefit from working with a WOC nurse.

How do I go about engaging one?

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Hi @bucksnort, if your husband is currently a Mayo Clinic patient, you can submit a request for a wound care nurse on the patient portal. Alternatively, you can submit a request for an appointment here: http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63

I’m sorry to hear that both you and your husband are experiencing this and the resulting interrupted sleep, especially at a time when you both need sleep to help with recovery and caregiving.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @bucksnort, if your husband is currently a Mayo Clinic patient, you can submit a request for a wound care nurse on the patient portal. Alternatively, you can submit a request for an appointment here: http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63

I’m sorry to hear that both you and your husband are experiencing this and the resulting interrupted sleep, especially at a time when you both need sleep to help with recovery and caregiving.

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I appreciate your thorough answer, Colleen. My husband is a current Mayo patient, but using the portal, I saw no option for scheduling either with his current care team, or one of a set of not applicable departements.

I did you the link you provided, and had better luck there – not actually scheduling an appointment, but I was able to schedule a call to talk to someone about scheduling an appointment. I'll take that progress!

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Well, it turns out that although WOC stands for "Wound, Ostomy, and Continence" and although the desription of what a WOC nurse does INCLUDES incontinence and patient education ( "WOC nurses provide direct care to people with abdominal stomas, wounds, fistulas, drains, pressure injuries, and/or continence disorders, and can serve as an educator, consultant, researcher, or administrator."), at Mayo they are apparently only doing it if it is triggered by a wound or a ostomy. Since my husband's incontinence was not triggered by either of them, he cannot get the additional support / education on how to manage his incontinence.

The have referrred him to pelvic floor therapy, which will help in the long term resolution of the problem, but will provide no short term help.

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@bucksnort

Well, it turns out that although WOC stands for "Wound, Ostomy, and Continence" and although the desription of what a WOC nurse does INCLUDES incontinence and patient education ( "WOC nurses provide direct care to people with abdominal stomas, wounds, fistulas, drains, pressure injuries, and/or continence disorders, and can serve as an educator, consultant, researcher, or administrator."), at Mayo they are apparently only doing it if it is triggered by a wound or a ostomy. Since my husband's incontinence was not triggered by either of them, he cannot get the additional support / education on how to manage his incontinence.

The have referrred him to pelvic floor therapy, which will help in the long term resolution of the problem, but will provide no short term help.

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Thanks for returning to share what you learned, @bucksnort. Sorry that it didn't lead to a more expedient solution. I wonder if this expert blog post offers some tips that may help in the interim:
– Control frequent urges with bladder training https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/take-charge-healthy-aging/newsfeed-post/control-of-frequent-urges-with-bladder-training/

I'm also tagging fellow members @lindes @hmctgraybill51 @jonbuuck @jerryegge @itterac @scullrower @maxvt @web265 who have talked about managing night time urinary incontinence and things that worked for them, both in the short term and long term.

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Hi @bucksnort. I am sorry to read of your husband's urinary incontinence. In May of 2019, I had a radical proctectomy, and I was never able to regain my control. In consultation with my surgeon and radiation oncologist (both at Mayo), I had an artificial urinary sphincter implanted (AMS800). After six weeks or so of healing, the device was activated and it far exceeded my expectations. It is truly life changing. I highly recommend the procedure. My issue was incontinence during the day after my surgery with nighttime not being as bad, so please take my experience with a grain of salt, since your husband's issue may be different than mine.
I wish you and your husband all the best.

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@jonbuuck

Hi @bucksnort. I am sorry to read of your husband's urinary incontinence. In May of 2019, I had a radical proctectomy, and I was never able to regain my control. In consultation with my surgeon and radiation oncologist (both at Mayo), I had an artificial urinary sphincter implanted (AMS800). After six weeks or so of healing, the device was activated and it far exceeded my expectations. It is truly life changing. I highly recommend the procedure. My issue was incontinence during the day after my surgery with nighttime not being as bad, so please take my experience with a grain of salt, since your husband's issue may be different than mine.
I wish you and your husband all the best.

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I appreciate the feedback. It is certainly something to talk over with his care team.

Can I ask if you ever investigated male external catheters? (or male travel urinary bag). Both of them seem to have short term potential, but wondering about reliability (i.e., staying on while in bed)

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@bucksnort

I appreciate the feedback. It is certainly something to talk over with his care team.

Can I ask if you ever investigated male external catheters? (or male travel urinary bag). Both of them seem to have short term potential, but wondering about reliability (i.e., staying on while in bed)

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I never explored such options.

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