It is important to start good bladder habits prior to the surgery for optimal recovery and reduced risk of incontinence post-operation. The first step is eliminating all bladder irritants from your diet a minimum of 3 weeks prior to surgery in conjunction to retraining your bladder for proper function. This will clear the inflammation from your bladder that is caused by beverages such as caffeine, alcohol, sugary drinks, tea, etc. The better your habits are prior to surgery, the better outcome you will have after. Teaching your bladder what normal is now will facilitate optimal recovery:
- Each morning upon arising, go to the toilet and completely empty your bladder. Your voiding schedule will begin upon getting out of bed and end at bedtime. It doesn’t matter if you wake up at a different time every day or if you voided during the night; always empty your bladder when you wake.
- Void every 3 hours from that time. If you have a BM and urinate at that time, it’s okay, just reset the 3 hour interval from there.
- Minimum of 3 weeks prior to surgery, drink nothing but plain water. Drink 4-6 ounces of water every hour from the time you wake up until 3 hours prior to bed.
- Stop fluids 3 hours before bed. This will reduce the need to urinate at night and give your kidneys and bladder time to ‘catch up’ from the amount of water you’ve been drinking during the day. Remember urine should not be clear, it should be a pale yellow. See What Is Normal.
- Always urinate before bed, even if it isn’t your scheduled time, to ensure you go to bed with an empty bladder. This will also reduce nighttime voids.
Perform your Kegel exercises daily. See Kegels.