Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Urine Retention Overview

Another name for Urine Retention is Urinary Retention.

What is urinary retention?
A person with urinary retention is unable to empty the bladder completely. If the person is unable to release any urine from the bladder, then urine continues to collect in the bladder. In these cases, the bladder becomes swollen and very painful. The most common cause for sudden urinary retention in a man is an enlarged prostate gland.

What are the symptoms of urinary retention?
Symptoms of urinary retention include urinating very small amounts of urine. Symptoms of severe urinary retention include the inability to urinate, abdominal swelling, lower abdominal pain, and low back pain.

How does the doctor treat urinary retention?
Treatment for urinary retention depends on the underlying cause. Initial treatment for urinary retention may include the insertion of a urinary catheter into the bladder, in order to drain the bladder. Medication or surgery may be required to treat the underlying cause for the urinary retention.

Continue to Urine Retention Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 12, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Urine Retention References
  1. Acheson J, Mudd D. Acute urinary retention attributable to sacral herpes zoster. Emerg Med J. 2004 Nov;21(6):752-3. [15496718]
  2. Ghalayini IF, Al-Ghazo MA, Pickard RS. A prospective randomized trial comparing transurethral prostatic resection and clean intermittent self-catheterization in men with chronic urinary retention. BJU Int. 2005 Jul;96(1):93-7. [15963128]
  3. Jensen P, Mikkelsen T, Kehlet H. Postherniorrhaphy urinary retention--effect of local, regional, and general anesthesia: a review. Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2002 Nov-Dec;27(6):612-7. [12430114]
  4. Thomas K, Chow K, Kirby RS. Acute urinary retention: a review of the aetiology and management. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2004;7(1):32-7. [14999235]
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