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Homepage – Forum Forums Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Bladder Spasms Following TURBT

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    Has anyone else had bladder spasms following surgery??  I had my 3rd TURBT on June 29th followed by chemo in the recovery room.  The catheter was removed before I left for home.  For about a week I suffered through multiple painful spasms – I was passing clots so thought that was the cause of the spastic pain.  On the 5th day I went to emergency and they irrigated my bladder to remove clots and ease my pain.  Went home the same night but my spasms continued.  No clotting.  My surgeon prescribed Pyridium, a urinary analgesic, but they did not help.  I do have bladder control but whey I have to go I HAVE TO GO or suffer intense pain and discomfort in my abdomen.  And I have to go frequently so to say its affecting my life is an understatement!!  In the beginning I was running to the washroom every 30 minutes just to “trickle” so I wasn’t getting any sleep.  Now, I’m waking up every two hours so at least I’m getting some sleep. I’ve read where Botox injected into the bladder floor can ease the spasms.  Most of the time they are very very uncomfortable but can get very painful at times.  I’ve also read that spasms following this type of surgery or after frequent catheter use is not uncommon and can last up to a month.  Its been over a month and they don’t seem to be easing up any further.  Any information would be so much appreciated.  thanks


    Hi Kare,

    I personally don’t have experience with spasms, but I recently had a professional physiotherapist conduct a workshop for my support group where she led us through a series of exercises to help with a variety of issues.  Her email address is and her business is  Feel free to contact Christina and tell her Alex from Bladder Cancer Canada referred you.  That said, I hope other patients who have gone through what you’re going through will respond.

    My best,

    Jack Moon

    Hi Kare

    My experience is just like yours, after my 3rd Turbt followed by an instillation of chemo I began to get bladder spasms about 1 week later severe at times putting me on my knees. A tip I got from a nurse was to have hot baths every day and use a heat pad when I could. Over time the spasms reduced in numbers per day over the next 2 weeks and eventually disappeared completely. I feel your pain, and maybe you could give the heat a try.

    All the best,



    I had bad spasms after my first TURBT. We were told that based on the location of the tumor being near a certain muscle that the spasms would be somewhat worse. For me movement seemed to set the spasms off. The first day or two after surgery I couldn’t even switch sides in bed without spams and pain. I went home with a catheter in place and there was a huge improvement when it was removed (about 5 days after surgery) but then after 2 good days some of the pain and spams came back. Slowly it got better and by the end of 2 weeks I could finally stand long enough to do some basic things like make dinner or some light vacuuming without paying afterwards with spasms and pain. Evenings seemed worse with more pain as the day went on. I found laying still with my legs slightly propped up on a pillow under my knees helped a bit. It must be frustrating to still have this happening after a month, but they say it takes six weeks for full recovery, so hopefully it will get better for you soon.


    Sorry to hear about your experience with bladder spasms following TURBT.  I started getting them after I was diagnosed  and before my 1st TURBT .  My GP prescribed an anticholinergic medication that has helped with the spasms.  He said the bladder gets irritated because of the blood in the urine.
    before my 1st TURBT this past Wednesday,  I specifically mentioned bladder spasm to my urologist, hoping that he would leave me a prescription.  Nope.  About 5 hours post-surgery I had the WORST spasms every 2-5 minutes and was unable to void.  I was begging my friends to hit me over the head with a shovel because I could not handle the pain anymore.  And I have a very high pain tolerance. I doubled up on my anticholinergic med and borrow a Vicodin from a friend.  Was on the way to Emerg when the meds kicked in.  Everything was fine after that.  Lesson learned is to start taking the anticholinergic meds as soon as I get home from hospital.  Needless to say, I am very discouraged with my Urologist’s non-treatment plan post TURBT.  He didn’t even tell me when I could go back to work.



    I had extremely bad bladder spasms following my re-TURBT. Had to remain catheterized for 4 days afterwards and the foley was causing me to have spasms anytime I moved. I would stop and clench my whole body, waves of icy hot prickles would go up my back and any liquid in the bladder was immediately forced past the Foley.  Took a prescrition for the spasms but it didn’t do anything to help, it was hellish. Had a ruptured appendix as a kid and this was right up there in terms of pain.  As soon as the catheter was removed they ceased. Of course no one tells you this may happen beforehand even though something like 40% of indwelling catheterized patients experiece bladder issues (CRBD).


    Hi Kare:

    Sorry to learn of your post TURBT difficulties.  Like you I had my third TURBT but in early October.  The previous two times were just TURBTs with no aftermath.  This time due to it being CIS instead of just papillary tumours, I had Epirubicin instilled in my bladder in recovery.  This drug caused all kinds of issues including bladder spasms and a lot of post op pain which was made much worse a week later due to the development of a Group B strep infection.  This infection set in after the removal of the catheter which had been in my bladder for 5 days post op.  Due to not being able to pee I had to make an emergency trip back to the ED.

    The ED doctor recommended Tylenol combined with Advil for the pain which definitely helped.  My uro also prescribed Flomax which helped my bladder calm down.  I took those meds and combined it with a lot of time  laying on the couch with a heating pad and taking hot showers/baths.  When I got to about 4 weeks post op the spasms were less but still there.  I managed to summon the energy to get back into doing regular acupuncture treatments which sped up the healing process and finally calmed my bladder down.

    I’m currently in the middle of a 6 week induction phase of BCG and go for an acupuncture treatment prior to my BCG treatment.  The catheterization for the BCG always sets my bladder off so I do the acupuncture treatment plus hold a hot water bottle next to my tummy while doing the BCG laying down and doing the chicken rotissiere turning routine.  It does calm the spasms.

    As mentioned, it does take about 6 weeks to heal from a TURBT but many take longer if they have had complications/spasms or whatever.  I hope that you will have improvement soon.  If not, keep bugging your uro.  It is their job to help you if you have problems.


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