Catheter discomfort

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 3/7/2011 6:42 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband just had surgery and is having discomfort from the catheter. Someone suggested an ointment for the tip of the penis. Can you tell me what that was? Thanks

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Post Edited By Moderator (James C.) : 3/8/2011 8:59:36 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 3/7/2011 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
KY or vaseline or anything like that.  All you are trying to do is alleviate friction at the tip of the penis. 
PSA 3.9 - October 2010 at annual physical
PSA 4.1 - November 2010 after a month of antibiotic, DRE Normal
Age 41 in December 2010 at Dx of 6 of 12 cores positive T1C and Gleason 3 + 3

open RP on 2/14/11 at Mass General

Post Surgery Pathology Report: Gleason 6, T2, Cancer in 35% of Prostate, All Margins Clear

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/7/2011 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
The hospital gave me lidocaine, it was great. just don't get any on your hands. Use gauze to spread it around penis tip around catheter. These two days are the toughest, things will get much better really quickly.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 692
   Posted 3/7/2011 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I was given a little tube of lidocaine, as well. My surgeon gave it to me when he came by my bed to check on me. Really took the sting out.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/7/2011 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I enjoyed telling my wife to spread it every single hour for an entire week. Thought it was kind of funny. It definitely helped.

Susan R
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 3/7/2011 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband used Neosporin with pain relief.

Cajun Jeff
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4036
   Posted 3/7/2011 8:03 PM (GMT -7)   
yep Neosporin here as well.

Best of luck on recovery.

Cajun Jeff
9/08 PSA 5.4 referred to Urologist
9/08 Biopsy: GS 3+4=7 1 positive core in 12 1% cancer core
10/08 Nerve-Sparing open radicalSurgery Path Report Downgrade 3+3=6 GS Stage pT2c margins clea
r3 month: PSA <0.1
19th month: PSA <0.1
2 year PSA <0.1
Only issue at this time is ED but getting better

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25341
   Posted 3/7/2011 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I am definitely odd man out here, you have been given excellent advice thus far. With a total of 21 catheters and about 1 1/2 years of cath time, not once did I ever have to put anything on the penis tip, it was never an issue. Keeping it clean, however, is very important to keep down infections.

Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 2/11 1.24
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10,

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6756
   Posted 3/7/2011 8:13 PM (GMT -7)   
It is best to use something non-petroleum based. Polysporin was what I was given. I was told by the nurses - do NOT use petroleum jelly or the like.
First wash with water and gentle soap. Then apply the ointment with a gauze pad, moving away from the penis head down the tube (to avoid pushing anything in).
Cleaning needs to be done several times a day, more if he has leakage around the outside of the tube (I did - had spasms).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1262
   Posted 3/7/2011 9:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, Diamonds, great to hear from you. I had no issue with the catheter. Had it for 10 days and loved it as I was able to drink all the tea I wanted in the evening and sleep all night. However, I was also delighted to be rid of it.

So, I can't give you any help with your question, but I did want to say hi, and also say I hope you'll post again soon and give us an update on how he's doing --- and, how you're doing.

Sheldon AKA Sleepless
Age 67 in Apil '09 at news of 4 of 12 cores positive T2B and Gleason 3 + 3 and 5% to 25% PSA 1.5
Re-read of slides in June said Gleason 3 + 4 same four cores 5% to 15%
June 29 daVinci prostatectomy, Dr. Eric Estey, at Royal Alexandra Hospital Edmonton one night stay
From "knock out" to wake up in recovery less than two hours.  Actual surgery 70 minutes
Flew home to Winnipeg on July 3 after 5 nights in Ramada Inn  ---  perfect recovery spot!
Catheter out July 9
Final pathology is 3 + 4 Gleason 7, clear margins, clear nodes, T2C, sugeron says report is "excellent"
Oct 1st 09 -- dry at night, during day some stress issues.
Oct 31st padless 24/7 
First post op PSA Sept 09  less than 0.02
PSA on Oct 23, 2009 less than 0.02
PSA on Jan 8, 2010  less than 0.02
PSA on April 9, 2010 less than 0.02 
PSA on July 9, 2010 (one year) less than 0.02

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 3/8/2011 2:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I was one of the lucky ones as I had no problems with the catheter and soreness, and never used any creams, but obviously kept every thing clean.
All the best from England.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1804
   Posted 3/8/2011 4:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Diamond, our surgeon recommended an antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin. Said to apply it liberally to the tip of the penis around the opening...worked well for my husband.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 3/8/2011 8:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I was specifically told by the hospital nurses not to use neosporin. The gave me a product called E-Z Lubricating Jelly. This is the same product that doctors apply to medical devices and gloved fingers before inserting them into bodies. The E-Z stuff worked great for me.
Age 58; da Vinci on 1/26/2011
PSA History: 10/2005 = 1.7; 10/2007 = 2.8; 10/2009 = 3.6; 10/2010 = 4.9
Abnormal DRE in 2009; Increasingly abnormal DRE in 2010
Thank you POPs!
Biopsy on 11/23/2010: GS = 3+4 (right side) with 4 of 6 cores positive @ 40%.
Post-OP pathology: GS=3+4; tumor = 35%; pT3b; R. seminal vesicle invasion; Extraprostatic extension into the R. bladder neck; margins uninvolve

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 650
   Posted 3/8/2011 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I was told by nurses upon discharge to use neosprin if needed, like purg said is clean it often to remove the crud ( dryed mucus and the like) this causes irration to the tip of the penis. There seems to be completely oppsite opinions of the neosprin type of ouintment and I never tried any other so I guess it one of those things, that work either way but clean is important in my mind. Take a close look at the first inch or so and see if there is any crusty build up. I used a clean damp bath cloth with just a bit of hand soap and wiped away from my penis, then I made sure the penis would slide comfortably over the catheter.
I hope it gets more comfortable.
06-08 1st biopsy neg psa 4
10-09 psa 5.5 2nd biopsy 1/12 pos. 10%, G(4+3) age 65
12-15-09 RRP Tulane NOLA Dr Lee
Path, 1%, clr marg, no EPE, no SVI, nodes cl, G(4+3)
100% incontinent @ 12 months
ED, pre-op severe, post op total
10/10 Dr Boone, Methodist recomended AUS
AUS/ IPP performed 1/11/11 Methodist Houston
post op psa's 0.04,<0.1,<0.1,<0.01@12 mo.

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4791
   Posted 3/8/2011 12:39 PM (GMT -7)   

I had my cath in for five weeks and never used anything on the tip.

One BIG trick I did learn.... The little bulb whatchmacall it that holds the cath in is usually filled with like 45ml (or 45 something) . Having your doc empty out a third of the fluid will make sitting at a desk much easier...

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 3/8/2011 2:35 PM (GMT -7)   

The key to success is to not develop an infection in or around the penis. For this reason my surgeon told me to wash up four times a day with a mild soap (dove unscented, and doesn't sting) and apply Bacitracin antibiotic ointment to the tip of penis and 3 inches of the catheter.

This wil not only make him feel better, but in my case it helped with the "I smell like some kind of farm animal" dilemma.

Some of the pain might be associated with little crusty things, so cleanliness is next to .....

I never got to a point where I didn't notice the catheter. It was only a week, then bye bye.

Age: 55- good health. Exercise regularly, 200#.
Needle Biopsy 11/09- 12 samples. 11 OK. Right Lateral Mid- Adenocarcinoma Gleason score 3+3=6 9 involving 5% of specimen.
PSA risingto 8.0 thru 2010.
2nd biopsy- 2 positive cores, one a 3+3=6, 3% and the other a 3+4=7, 20%
Very last PSA- 12
DaVinci 2/14/11 Cath out 2/21/11 Path=10%, Gleason6+7 No lymph, pca contained to organ. Lots of pads.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 3/8/2011 9:54 PM (GMT -7)   
First, did your doc have instructions for cleaning after surgery? Despite what we all individually have been told, you should follow your discharge instructions from your own medical team.
Second, for what's it's worth, my husband was told to use bacitracin 3 times a day to remove the crusting that inevitably forms at the insertion point. I had stayed with my husband throughout his hospitalization and the staff showed me how to use sterile gauze in ONE DIRECTION ONLY around the penile tip to cleanse the area and keep irritation from developing. He never developed any soreness or redness as a result.
Third, welcome to a great site, and hope your husband has a problem-free, comfortable healing time...
Husband 60yrs., no symptms: PSA 10/04 2.73, 12/06 3.64, 5/09 3.9, 10/09 4.6, 1/10 5.0w/ free PSA 24
6 core biop 4/1/10 path rept: rt mid: adnocarc. G=3+3, 5% of core; R apx v. susp. minute ca, R base bnign w/ mod. atrophy, L side atrphy only; 2nd opnion JH confrmd
MRI - 15mm nodule
BiLatRP surg 7/6/10, path: T2c, nodes, sem.ves, extra caps. neg., adenoc both sides G=3+3 cntinent, Viagr-8/27 ED

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2206
   Posted 3/9/2011 4:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Follow the advice the nursing team gave you. If they gave you none, then phone them and ask for some.
Otherwise remember to clean your hands before touching the penis or cath etc.
Use sterile gauze, warm water and a neutral (un-perfumed) soap, and regularly, and gently.

Also do not use any petroleum based products such as vaseline near the catheter, they will damage the rubber, same as not using Vaseline with condoms.


New Member

Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/1/2015 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Had Prostrate removed last Monday (26th October) discharged from hospital on Friday (30th) with Catheter.

Now Monday morning and it is starting to irritate me on the tip of my penis.

I have read the posts here and will certainly telephone the Urology department at the hospital when they open the phone line.

I was not given any cream or ointment or instructions of what to do.

Not in a good place at the moment.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1780
   Posted 11/1/2015 9:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Can't believe you got no instructions! Pretty pathetic.
DOB January 1944 (now age 71)
8/12 PSA 2.7
5/13 PSA 6.6
7/13 Bx 4+5=9, 2 of 6 cores, 10%, 40%
9/13 ORRP, Gl9, pt3b, SVI+,margin+, EPE, Nodes clear
11/13 to 5/14 PSA .1,.2,.3
6&7/14 IMRT 68.2 gy. to Prostate bed, ADT 6 mos. Lupron
9/14 to 8/15 PSA <.1,<.1,.1,.3,.7,1.2
9/15 to 10/16 ADT3, metformin
9/15 to 12/15 IMRT/D.A.R.T. 75 gy to pelvic nodes, 50 fracti

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/1/2015 9:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree pathetic but they are all so busy so cant be so unkind.

How do you get these items ie DOB I see we were born in same year 1944 August mine. and PSAs etc. ?
The impossible I can do today, miragles take a little longer.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 7965
   Posted 11/1/2015 10:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to HW, sorry you need to be here.

Checkout the sticky threads at the top of the forum, lots of good information there.

Normally that kind of info should be covered in the post op instructions. You'd likely get a better response to your question if you posted on a new thread. This thread is four years old.

The stats you see in our posts is our profile signature. Just edit your profile to add the info. It helps us answer your questions better if we know things like your age, PSA results, gleason scores, treatments you had etc.

To answer your question, you need to keep things clean - soap and water or alcohol wipes. And a bit of lubricant around the catheter.

and call the doctor for better instructions and to make sure everything is okay.

Sadly it is something you have to tough out for a week or so.
I'll be in the shop.
Age 55, 52 at DX
PSA 4.2 10/11, 1.9 6/12, 1.2 12/12, 1.0 5/13, .6 11/13, .7 5/14, .5 10/14, .5 4/15, .3 10/15
G 3+4
Stage T1C
2 out of 14 cores positive
Treatment IGRT - 2/2012
My latest blog post

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2015
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 11/1/2015 11:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Not a bad idea to try neosporin in another area as a test for a day or so prior to usage.

I've used it over the years, and just a year ago turned allergic. Non-catheter usage looked like my flesh was going to rot off at first, eventually got fine.

Even so, if that had occurred with usage of a catheter could have been quite a problem. In my case (cut on my leg) I have used petroleum jelly.
See location and occupation for email
Upstate SC, halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte

DOB 1946

PCA 3 score 49
PHI score 43.9
3T enhanced MRI - negative reading. However, not mp, so of questionable value,

PSA 6.1 8/13/15
PSA 6.79 7/14/15
PSA 1.9 8/xx/11
PSA 2.2 5/04/11
PSA 2.0 7/28/05

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 4970
   Posted 11/2/2015 5:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I was told to just keep it clean, no antibiotic like neosporin necessary, but they gave me a tube of lidocaine gel.
Dx Age 64 Nov 2014, 4.3
BX 3 of 12 cores positive original pathologyG6, G6, G8 (3+5)
downgraded to 3+3=6 by Dr Epstein, JH
RALP with Dr Ash Tewari Jan 6, 2015
Post surgical pathology – G7 (3+4), ECE, Margins, LN, SV all negative
PSA @ 6 weeks 2/15, .<02, 4/15 <.02 7/15 <.02, 10/15 0.00 (new lab)
My Story:

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6756
   Posted 11/2/2015 8:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't you love these Zombie threads ;) ?


Welcome to Healing Well.

The situation you describe is painfully normal, and we seem to have all gotten different advice, when there was any at all. Amazing that docs have not improved the post-op process in the six years since mine!

The advice my doc gave was to use a NON-PETROLEUM item, as I mentioned here a few years ago, and some detailed (above) the reason. The reason for not using Neosporin is that it has some ingredients that try to speed / force healing. He tells me that is not the objective, as he does not want to create more issues in the future. The objective is to keep the area clean, and lubricated if required. For an antibiotic, use Polysporin.
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