Urinary Retention Treatment in Alpharetta, GA
What Is Urinary Retention?
Urinary retention is characterized by the difficulty or complete inability to empty one's bladder. The condition can be either acute or chronic.
Acute urinary retention occurs suddenly, and can be life-threatening if left untreated. Patients with acute urinary retention should seek emergency treatment.
Chronic urinary retention is longer-lasting; the patient is able to urinate, but the bladder does not fully empty, causing more frequent or painful urination.
If you experience problems passing urine, schedule an appointment with a healthcare practitioner in Alpharetta who specializes in urinary retention treatment. Call (770) 674-6311 or contact Dr. Gail Ravello online.
Causes of Urinary Retention
There are many causes of urinary retention. Urinary retention often occurs when there is something physically blocking the flow of urine through the bladder or urethra, or when something interferes with the communication between the brain and the nerves that run through the urinary tract system.
The following conditions can cause urethral blockage:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate gland enlargement)
- Prostate infection
- Cystocele (bladder bulging into the vagina, also called prolapsed bladder)
- Rectocele (rectum bulging into the back wall of the vagina)
- Stricture (narrowing of urethra)
- Kidney stones
- Tumors (benign or cancerous)
Common causes of nerve problems that can lead to urinary retention include:
- Vaginal childbirth or pelvic injury
- Brain or spinal cord infections or injuries
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Spina bifida and other birth defects
Side effects from certain medications can also cause urinary retention, including the medicine given before and after surgery. These medications can include:
- Antispasmodics and anticholinergics (used to treat stomach cramps, muscle spasms, and incontinence)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
Urinary Retention Symptoms & Diagnosis
Urinary retention symptoms differ between the acute and chronic varieties.
Acute urinary retention is characterized by complete inability to urinate despite urgent need to urinate as well as pain, discomfort, and bloating.
Chronic urinary retention involves inability to fully empty the bladder, which can result in frequent urination, trouble urinating, constant need to urinate, and persistent discomfort.
To diagnose urinary retention, a health care provider will likely perform a post-void residual measurement, which measures the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination, and a physical exam. As urinary retention is often indicative of other health problems, other tests that may be performed to make a diagnosis include:
- CT scan
- Cystoscopy (internal examination of urethra and bladder with tube-like instrument)
- Urodynamic tests (variety of tests that examine bladder and urethra function)
- Electromyography (measurement of electrical activity of muscles and nerves in bladder and sphincters)
- PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test if prostate cancer is suspected
Treatment and Management of Urinary Retention
Acute urinary retention is a medical emergency. Treatment involves use of a catheter to drain the bladder and prevent bladder damage or other serious complications like urinary tract infections and kidney injury. Alpha-blockers may be recommended for people whose acute urinary retention was caused by prostate enlargement. Secondary treatment of acute urinary retention may involve treatment of the underlying cause.
For chronic urinary retention as with post-catheterization care for the acute variety, treatment and management of urinary retention will depend on the cause. Enlarged prostate is treated with drugs or surgery, and surgery may also be an option for extreme cases of stricture, rectocele, or cystocele. Rectocele and cystocele may also be treated with pelvic floor strengthening exercises or estrogen therapy. Catheters may be used for less extreme cases of stricture. For patients with chronic urinary retention that is not severe enough for surgery, long-term intermittent catheter use may be required, especially if the retention is caused by nerve problems.
Request Your Appointment Today
If you are struggling with the inconvenience and discomfort of chronic urinary retention, experts in Alpharetta, GA can help you. Call (770) 674-6311 or contact Dr. Gail Ravello online!
Natural Medical Solutions Wellness Center
Address1130 Upper Hembree Rd.
Roswell, GA 30076
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm