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UTIs and Testing After Bladder Removal

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  • UTIs and Testing After Bladder Removal

    Hey, as the title implies, I have a question about UTIs I'm hoping I can get some help with. I had my bladder removed a number of years ago now, replaced with an Indiana Pouch. I have never had much trouble with UTIs, not before my surgery or after, so I don't have a lot of experience with this. Due to a change in insurance I'm seeing a new uro that I love and who is, I would say, about the same level of experience with this surgery as my old uro, but they have 2 differing views:

    My old uro said even with my pouch, if I had a UTI I could have a regular dip stick and/or culture done and it would still show pretty accurate results as long as I make it as clean catch as possible. My new uro suggested that these tests give false positives for somebody like me, because having a pouch and using a catheter would mean I always have bacteria in my urine. However, there have indeed been times when I've tested negative (I test after a course of antibiotics to make sure the UTI is gone; since my symptoms can be vague sometimes when I test it winds up negative; routine well-visit testing; etc.) I even had a negative dip stick in her office once!

    Perhaps I misunderstood her, but I wanted to see what you guys thought, because I've tested positive for a UTI off and on all summer and I think I have another one now. She did say she recommends treatment when symptoms are present, even if she thinks it could be a false positive. My symptoms can be vague: fever, fatigue, malaise, pouch cramps, but one noticeable thing is the look and smell of my urine. I have also had cultures grow various bacteria during a suspected UTI.

    So now I wonder, how do I know when I have a UTI??? In the past I've really relied on dip sticks to help confirm my suspicions and have found them very helpful. Any help from your experience would be sooo appreciated!
    Have had IC symptoms since childhood, but did not seek serious treatment or become diagnosed until I was in college.

    24 yo F

    I've had a cystectomy with an Indiana Pouch. It was a success and has helped my symptoms and pain immensely.

  • #2
    Re: UTIs and Testing After Bladder Removal

    I haven't had my bladder removed so I honestly don't really have an answer for you, but I have a tendency to agree with treatment based on symptoms. You might want to talk with her about possibly doing a culture when there aren't any symptoms --- that could determine whether culture results are accurate.

    It has to be difficult not being able to get an accurate diagnosis.

    Warm hugs,
    Stay safe

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