You might remember, the last time I took Bob to the urologist, he had a bladder scan which indicated he was retaining urine. At that time, his PVR (postvoid residual urine volume) had measured 370 ml. The doctor flipped out at that number, said it was supposed to be 250 ml or less and gave me three options for Bob, which were an indwelling catheter, or a surgically implanted bladder stimulator or 3 times intermittent catheterizing daily. None of which sounded appetizing, to say the least.
Since then, I've done my research and have learned a lot about PVR (including the term PVR!), so I printed off some literature, got out my highlighter and, thus, armed, I was ready for battle.
Among my weapons were these highlighted tidbits:
From AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), a paper entitled Evidence Based Practice Center Systematic Review Protocol, Chronic Urinary Retention (CUR) Treatment:
There appears to be little standardization in the duration or PVR volume necessary for CUR diagnosis and treatment . Research studies often use PVR volume greater than 300 ml to diagnose CUR; others have used 100 ml, 400 ml, and 500 ml.
From the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI):
There is no agreement on which is the threshold value to define a significant PVR and different society produced guidelines with different thresholds range from 300 ml to 1000 ml... Most studies seem to describe the condition as either a PVR of greater than 300 ml in men who are voiding, or greater than 1000 ml in men who are unable to void.
And from the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence:
Guidelines define CUR as a postvoid residual urine volume of greater than 1000 ml.
Now I know, 1000 ml sounds like a lot of urine, but I wanted to point out to this speedy urologist that there are different opinions out there and his "magic number" of 250 ml, is not necessarily an agreed upon standard. Also, I planned to argue that since Bob can't pee on command, he really doesn't have a true "post-void" urine volume.
Also, I had documented Bob's urine output after the scan at his last appointment as:
2:00 p.m. scan showing 370 ml PVR
3:00 p.m. emptied 100 ml
4:00 p.m. emptied 200 ml
And I also remembered that six months prior, Bob's PVR was 250 ml, exactly.
So, thus armed, I prepared for battle and we went to see the urologist. Before we left, I had urged (begged!) Bob to try to pee as much as possible. Also, I made sure I didn't give him too much water when I administered his noon meds.
And I tell you, I was nervous. I do not like confronting doctors. Especially ones that think they know everything. My Plan B, if I couldn't convince this doctor to "go lightly" on Bob, was to get a second opinion from another urologist.
So it was a great relief when the scan was done and it showed only 218 ml still in Bob's bladder! AND, directly after the scan he peed out another 30 ml.
And the urologist gave us a reprieve. Until June.
So all that research/preparation, and I didn't even need it.
Though, believe me, I will save these documents and all my notes and arrive ready for another battle, next time....