Ketamine could cost you your bladder, warn Bristol surgeons
SURGEONS are being forced to remove the bladders of ketamine users in their 20s.
The class C drug can have long-term effects on health, with some users with serious kidney and urinary problems – the worst cases can damage the bladder beyond repair.
The director of Bristol Urological Institute in Southmead Hospital, David Gillatt, said they have seen about 20 cases in the past year.
"Some have needed major surgery to remove the bladder – and that's a fairly big step," he said.
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"These are young people who will have up to 60 years to live with consequences of damaging their bladder or kidneys."
He said people who take the drug – used as a horse tranquilliser – suffer pain in the bladder and the need to pass urine urgently.
If a bladder is removed, patients often need a stoma – an artificial reservoir to collect and remove urine .
Ketamine was made illegal three years ago after a surge in recreational users. At low doses, the user may feel euphoric and possibly feel sensations such as seeing sounds or hearing colours.
At higher doses, they might become paralysed.