Color of urine in catherter bag

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/12/2011 11:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Your help please. I just had the robotic radical prostatectomy, and when I came home with the catherter bag 2 days ago I was told that if the color of the urine in the bag was fire engine red, to call the doctors office. The color at first was a sort of light salmon color, but now it appears to be more red. Is this a problem that time will take care of, and how long, or should I call the doctors office. I am 63 years old, in pretty good health, and other then the color of the urine, i feel fine. My surgery took longer then usual, about 6 hours, but it went well.
thank you for your help

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Date Joined Jan 2010
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   Posted 3/12/2011 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
In all cases where you have concern, call the doctor first.
They will explain that a single drop of blood can cause a significant change in color of liquids. Those of us with 'rhoids can attest -
Some blood is expected (your bladder has a big balloon in it - there has to be irritation), but if you are not comfortable with it, call them.
And welcome to HW. As always, we are sorry you found the need to be here, but welcome just the same.
DaVinci 10/2009
My adjuvant IGRT journey (2010) -

James C.
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 3/12/2011 11:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum. I think what you describe is normal for the time period you are in. You will see different colors and tints, depending on your activity level, even after the catheter is removed. More movement/activity= more bleeding. However, remember that it just takes a couple drops of blood to tint a full bag, so it isn't as dramatic as you may think. Here's a simple way to test for the fire engine red scenerio. Empty the bag, then watch the first urine that starts filling the bag. If it appears to be almost or pure blood, you 'may' have a problem. Also, if it is bright red and collecting faster than before, you may have a problem. If it just appears to be 'more red', there's not likely to be anything unusual with it. Otherwise, I'd just monitor it, as a major bleed is a a rare event. This is just offered from my experience with the bag, if you still are worried, call your doctor or their on-call service.
James C. Age 63
Gonna Make Myself A Better Man
4/07: PSA 7.6, 7/07 Biopsy: 3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe, GS6
9/07: Nerve Sparing open RP, Path: pT2c, 110 gms., clear except:
Probable microscopic involvement-left apical margin -GS6
3 Years: PSA's .04 each test until 04/10-.06, 09/10-.09, 12/10-.09, 02/11-.08
ED-total-Bimix 30cc

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7087
   Posted 3/12/2011 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
An aside - I never had what I would consider "fire engine red" - often the bag would be a quarter or third full, then go reddish - that implied a drop of blood had come along. For that I emptied the bag more often. Steady red instead of a general change was my watch point.
Also, they didn't ask, but I kept a diary of urine volume, color, debris & the like, and the time at which I emptied the bag. It helped later understand what was going on.
(Looks like James got in there first with the activity part I had forgotten to mention).

Post Edited (142) : 3/12/2011 9:26:05 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 3/12/2011 11:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Bluecurl,
I had my surgery on 2/14 and had the same issue.  Mine did not start until a week after surgery.  I had varying levels of blood in the bag the second week.  I spoke to the nurse at the hospital and the doctor's office several times because I was freaking out.  They all told me it was normal.  Unless it is ALL blood, you are probably OK.  I still had blood after catheter removal for about a week and then it stopped.  Keep drinking as much water as you can and flush out all of that crap.  I think mine was due to some sort of irritation from the catheter, but I can't be sure.
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

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 3/12/2011 3:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I had same thing after my surgery. The other question are you drinking enough water. I just had my AUS activated and had a amber colored urine. I was concerned about a UTI. Drank more water and color changed to normal.

You need to drink water and this will also help.
Prostrate Cancer 2001 RP 50 years old PSA 6.8 Gleason 3 + 2 40% T3bNxMo moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma RP - cancer apex area, nerve sparing not successful Bulking using both collagen and teflex unsuccessful for continence. 4 sets of strictures within 1 yr after RP - 3 manual and 1 rotorotor -9/2010 stricture - suprapubic catheter folled by Homan Laser. AMS800 1/22/11.

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 3/12/2011 5:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Mostly sounds normal. Takes very little extra blood to turn from a faded pink to red red. At the top of the catheter balloon that holds it in place, is the inlet, and it can rub against the bladder wall and cause some bleeding. The best bet, if worried, call your doc, secondly, drink lot and lots of plain old water, to keep flushing all the post surgery bleeding and clots through and out of you. Good luck.
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,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 3/12/2011 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   
although I had none at all afte rbiopsy and only the first time after catherter, I was told both tiles that I could have blood in my urine for a week or more. So it sounds like everything is normal. However, why not call your nurse and confirm this?
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