Recovery time after TURBT?

Hi all, John has another question regarding his TURBT. We have been searching different websites on bladder cancer and a few of them have said no driving for up to 2wks after surgery? Has anyone else been told this or had to stop driving? I know we shouldnt believe everything we read that is why we are asking you guys that have been or goin thru this. Thanks for all your help so far!

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Judi I know other will jump in here because I think this is an indivdual doctor's recommendation for a particular individual. I personally was given no such instruction and was driving myself to work the next day.

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Hi Judi,
I think normally it is just the remainder of the day of the turb in order for the anesthesia to wear off. TURB is considered relatively minor surgery. I was always driving the next day.
Some might say no driving for 24 hours but that should be the most. I wish you well.

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Any time a patient has anesthesia for any procedure (not just TURBS), they are advised not to drive. When any surgical procedure is done, the body needs rest to recover. It is easy for blood vessels to break open if stresses are placed on them. Most of us don't think driving involves any particular stress, but using arms, legs, eye/hand coordination and the need for our brains to be alert, takes its toll. So, doctors routinely give an arbitrary time frame to refrain from driving. It really is for our protection.

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Thanks all,,, we thought it was quite a long time. I know they advise you not do drive 24hrs after surg. for any surgery thats the norm. We just wondered why different websites said 2wks. Hes figuring since his TURBT is on a Fri. hes planning on returning to work that Mon. I worry cause he has a 1 1/2 hr. commute to and from work. Guess we'll have to wait and see what his Doc. says.. but thanks for your answers.

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1 week with the cath...driving with it in that week;;;

minor thing......1st 2 days are sleepy ...

hang in there

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Hi Judi

I just had my TURBT on wendsday, I am a Commercial driver, and my doctor said no driving for 24 hours. Now I allways take a day or two extra off from work, to let the pain ease up a bit since I cant take the pain meds while working. Hope this helps.


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It does vary from doctor to doctor and of course some people have other health issues which make a TURB a bit more complicated in terms of recovery. But the internet is full of information and almost totally lacking in answers so I would stay away from it. Here you have real people who have been through this. While we are not speaking as health or medical professionals you at least get information that counts. As far as driving, it is recommended that a person avoid that and other things such as making big decisions for at least 24 yours. IT's the anesthesia mostly. I think 2 weeks is rather long my self. I was up and running by the next day or two (well, not running). i think for most people driving in a couple of days is about right but I would not go against your docs orders. I would contact you doc and ask him about it. This is an arbitrary thing but he may have some specific reasons in this case. I would call and ask him about it.

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I had to have someone drive me home after my TURBT, but I was able to drive the next day. Like everyone else says, its mainly because of the anesthesia. Check with your Doc though.

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I was very tired for a couple of days after my TURB but was able to drive the day after, if I chose to. Good Luck with the TURB! We will be thinking about you. Please keep us posted.

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I had to get a ride home after surgery, except for the cathater, all was well the next day and i could drive if i wanted to. Good Luck

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For sure if he is taking pain meds (such as vicodin or oxycontin) he should suspend his driving or any other activity requiring concentration and coordination until he is no longer taking them. It's probably not a good idea to drive with a catheter either, as it could cause problems of it's own that you would want to take care of and interfere with your concentration and coordinated activities. I think those are the most important concerns, once the anesthesia (1st 24 hours) has resolved.


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Thanks JJ for mentioning the meds. I can;t drive because of my seizure but I have to take Oxycontin for my should pain and I tell you that I can;t even walk straight half the time. Pain meds like the narcotics type can be really dangerous when mixed with some activities. Now, I still ride my ATV, but honestly, I have even had to limit that because of the Oxycontin which I hope to be off of soon. Do check with his doc. Oh, JJ made a good point about distraction. I think catheters could be more of a problem than cell phones.

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I have had 3 TURBTs. 2 were early morning procedures and I went to work the next day, The other was mid day and I just didn't feel like going to work, too tired. I wouldn't drive while taking the pain meds but otherwise a day or 2 days is max downtime for TURBTs.

Good luck... the 1st of anything is scary. Hopefully it will be the last one he has.

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I think alot of times it depends on how extensive the procedure is. My husband's first turbt was pretty extensive and he had a catheter for almost 2 weeks. The doctor would not allow him to return to work (but his job as a fabrictor requires alot of ups, downs, and lifting) until the cath was out.

His 2nd turbt was not extensive at all, came home without a catheter, and was only out of work 3 or 4 days.

3rd turbt was more extensive than the 2nd, but not as bad as the first. Came home with catheter, but only for 5 days. Was out of work for a week.

Also, there's usually no lifting over 20 or so lbs. for a few weeks or a month.

After a day or 2, he drove with the cath, as long as it wasn't bothering him.

I know it's not as bad as we thought it would be - just a lot of inconvenience and worry more than anything!

You guys are in my prayers.


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It seems for me, I am usually out about a week.

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After my 1st Turbt, and in hospital for 3 days, the hospital gave me an instruction sheet with regards to DO's and DON'T's.
Keep your driving distances to 1 hour maximum for the next 10 days. If you must drive longer distances during this period, stop and walk for 3-5 minutes. Also insure the waist strap of your seat belt is not too tight.
Not sure if this instruction sheet came from my Uro or was originated by the hospital.

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I appreciate what you have to say about recovery after a TURBT. In a few days, I will have my third one in 4 years. It may be old hat for the surgeon, and a minor procedure for me, but it's still physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Consider just the poking and prodding to diagnose and prepare for it, and then, move the rest of my life around for this one day, this one or two hours out of my life; I deserve and am taking the time to heal without the pressure of other demands being placed on me, because I absolutely have to get back to work. I have some responsibility to myself.

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Good luck with your Turbt JQ. For sure take the time to heal before returning to your normal daily routine.
I have had 3 Turbts, since 2006, but have been cancer free now for 23 months after several BCG treatments.
My time off from Turbts were 1 week to 2 weeks.
All the best,

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All TURBs are not created equal. I've had ones where I had to stay the night in the hospital and the recovery took a couple of weeks. After other ones I drove 3 hours to get home the same day as the surgery.

The difference is how aggressively the surgeon is going after the tumors, the number of tumors and their characteristics.

It can also vary based on the anesthesia. After one surgery I was told they had trouble reviving me. Other Anesthesiologist's made remarks about the drug mix they used that time. In that case I didn't drive for a day.

Your surgeon should be able to guide you somewhat on how extensive/aggressive the TURB will be. Take whatever he/she says and discount it as they err on the side of caution.

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