Will Urinary Retention Severely Impact Final Results of Abdominoplasty? What Can I Do to Minimize Affect of This Setback? Thanks

5 days post-op from full TT and BL. By day 3, was still not successful at emptying bladder. Followed orders of doctor, who told me to increase fluid intake. By end of day 3 was catheterized in ER; 2+ L emptied. My swollen abdomen, flat after surgery, has improved much since ER, but am worried some of horrible stretched out skin from twins that was pulled in by surgeon are back. Prior to surgery, told not to get one. Now I must get one. What will be most effective? What else can I do? Help please...

Doctor Answers 5

Urinary Retention and Abdominoplasty

Urinary retention after abdominal procedures is not all that uncommon.  Even if a catheter was placed at the time of surgery, it would have likely been removed the following day.  It may not have prevented your situation.
With a proper repair of the abdominal wall, it is highly unlikely that your end result will be affected.  It was a short period of time for resilient tissues like skin and muscle fascia.  Doubt that the compression garment will offer much help here at this point, but it's about all you can do. Chances are you will be fine.

Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Urinary retention should not influence your results

Once your bladder becomes overfilled or if you are on narcotics, have anesthetic agents still in your system and some on some other medications you lose the urge or tone of your bladder. Typically an urgent care center does an ultrasound to see if you have significant residual and if so will put in a temporary catheter to drain your bladder. When your tone returns you should be fine. The stretching from your distended bladder should not influence your Tummy Tuck results.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Effect of urinary retention on abdominoplasty patients

Hello. Urinary retention should not impact the results of your abdominoplasty. As long as the plication sutures used to bring your abdominal muscles together are still intact the results should not be compromised. Just be sure to continue wearing your compression garment.

Jaime Perez, MD
Mommy Makeover Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Urinary Retention for Several Days Compromising Tummy Tuck Result?

   I would think that as long as the plication sutures are intact, the short period of distention would not have adverse effects on your result.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Will Urinary Retention Severely Impact Final Results of Abdominoplasty?

Only time will tell, but I think it unlikely that a day or two fo abdominal distension will affect your outcome. Wearing a compression binder is about all you can do. Plenty of patients get abdominal distention due to constipation from the pain medicines without apparent long term issues. 

Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.