Urinary Retention (cont.)
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What are the complications of urinary retention?
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Urinary tract infection
Urine is normally sterile, and the normal flow of urine usually prevents bacteria from growing in the urinary tract. When urine stays in the bladder, however, bacteria have a chance to grow and infect the urinary tract.
If the bladder becomes stretched too far or for long periods, the muscle may be permanently damaged and lose its ability to contract.
Chronic kidney disease
If urine backs up into the kidneys, permanent kidney damage can lead to reduced kidney function and chronic kidney disease. If you lose too much of your kidney function, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive.
What are the complications of treatments for urinary retention?
UTI from catheter use
Placement of a urinary catheter provides an opportunity for bacteria to enter the urinary tract. Bacteria may come from the patient's anus and perineum or from the health worker's hands. Health workers must take great care, using sterile technique, when placing a catheter. If you are performing clean intermittent catheterization, you must follow the same sterile procedures every time you handle the catheter.
Incontinence and erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery
Transurethral surgery to treat an enlarged prostate may result in loss of bladder control or erection problems in some men. These problems are usually temporary. Most men recover their bladder control in a few weeks or months, and most recover their sexual function within 1 year after the operation.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/18/2014
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