A urethroplasty is a major operation associated with moderate pain at the operative site. As such, I recommend a spinal anaesthetic technique in addition to the general anaesthetic you receive.
This spinal anaesthetic in a single injection of local anaesthetic and morphine, which provides the following advantages, for up to 24 hours:
- Better pain control: you will need less pain medicine for the first 24 hours after your procedure (the most painful period).
- Less side effects: you will have less chance of being itchy, nauseous, or sleepy when you wake up.
- More rapid recovery: having your pain controlled will facilitate mobility, nutrition and rehabilitation from your urethroplasty. The spinal injection avoids the routine use of a PCA (see the PCA information section) and the associated intravenous lines and machines which impair your postoperative mobility. Please see the patient information section on Spinals for more information.
You will wake up in the recovery unit, usually pain-free (if you received a spinal anaesthetic).
If you had a buccal graft, you may have some discomfort inside your mouth (not covered by the spinal) which is well-controlled by medication.
You will also have a catheter in your bladder, which remains there for several weeks, as per your urologist. You will be on ‘bed rest’ for the first day after your procedure, after which you will be encouraged to mobilise to prepare for your discharge from hospital.
When your spinal anaesthetic wears off after 24 hours, you will be given a personalised postoperative pain-relief plan.
Please see the patient information section on Post-operative pain for more information.