Why Would Someone Need A Catheter
With a limited capacity of 300 500 ml, the bladder evacuates its contents intermittently about 6 10 times in 24 hours. This cyclical filling and emptying of the bladder demands perfect paradoxical coordination between bladder and urethra as the bladder relaxes to accommodate the increasing volume of urine so the urethra contracts to prevent leakage and vice versa when the bladder empties.
The control mechanism is masterminded by the network of nerves that pass between bladder and brain via the spinal cord, ensuring the bladder not only evacuates its contents completely at each void but also at a convenient time and in an appropriate place. This normal function of the bladder and urethra, collectively termed the lower urinary tract, is vital to health but can readily be disturbed by disease or injury to any of its structures.
Types Of Urinary Catheters
Depending on your health and how long youâll need help peeing, your doctor might recommend:
- External catheter. For women, this is a urine collection and measurement device that fits against the urethra. It reduces the risk of a urinary tract infection.
- Foley catheter. This kind stays put. A tiny balloon filled with water keeps one end inside your bladder. The other end drains out into a bag thatâs either strapped to your leg or hanging from the side of a bed or a stand. The bag is emptied when itâs full. A Foley catheter needs to be replaced every 3 months or so.
- Intermittent catheters. You use one of these several times a day, either at scheduled times or whenever your bladder feels full. It usually goes in through your urethra and drains your bladder. Your doctor or nurse will teach you how to put it in and take it out.
- Suprapubic catheter. Your doctor puts this type into your bladder through a cut in your belly, a little below your belly button. It isnât as likely to give you an infection.
- Condomcatheter. This may be an option for some men. Nothing goes into your bladder. Instead, a sheath similar to a condom fits around your . A tube takes the urine from there into a bag. It may seem more comfortable than other types of urinary catheters, but it can slip or leak.
Catheter Tips: Begin With Comfort
Teleflex bladder catheters are available with different tips:
Our Ergothan tip is flexible and is designed to adapt to the urethral anatomy. It is designed to adjust to movement and glides easily and gently into the bladder. The conical shape enables a gentle insertion with minimal pressure on the sensitive urethral mucosa.
For the anatomically normal urethra the straight cylindrical Nelaton tip can be used.
The curved Tiemann tip is designed to provide a greater degree of control during catheterisation of the male urethra.
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How Is This Device Inserted
Your doctor will insert and change your catheter the first few times after youre given one. Then, your doctor may permit you to take care of your catheter at home.
First, your doctor may take X-rays or perform an ultrasound on the area to check for any abnormalities around your bladder area.
Your doctor will likely use the Stamey procedure to insert your catheter if your bladder is distended. This means that its overfilled with urine. In this procedure, your doctor:
Your doctor may also give you a bag thats attached to your leg for the urine to drain into. In some cases, the catheter itself may simply have a valve on it that allows you to drain the urine into a toilet whenever needed.
SPC insertion is a short, safe procedure that usually has few complications. Before the insertion, your doctor may recommend taking antibiotics if youve had a heart valve replacement or are taking any blood thinners.
Possible minor complications of an SPC insertion include:
To remove an SPC, your doctor:
Diagnosing A Urinary Catheter Infection
You might need to give a urine sample if your doctor thinks you have an infection. This will show whether there are bacteria in your bladder.
You should get the results back within a few days.
If you’ve had a catheter for a long time, the test will likely be positive. A positive test does not always mean you have an infection and does not always mean you need treatment with antibiotics.
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Urinary Catheter Side Effects
There are a few things to watch for when you use urinary catheters other than external and condom catheters.
Infection. This is the most common problem. The catheter may let germs into your body, where they can cause an infection of your bladder, urethra, urinary tract, or kidneys. Call your doctor if you:
Leaks. This may be a sign that your catheter is blocked by clotted blood or debris. Tell your doctor if you see blood clots in your urine or you think something is blocking the flow of urine.
Bladder spasms. These can happen if your bladder tries to push out the catheter. Medicine can help.
Other, less common side effects are:
Why Do Health Care Professionals Perform Ureteroscopy
A urologist performs a ureteroscopy to find the cause of urine blockage in a ureter or to evaluate other problems inside the ureters or kidneys. During a ureteroscopy, a urologist can see
- a stone in a ureter or kidney
- problematic tissue, tumors, or cancer in a ureter or in the lining of a kidney
During a ureteroscopy, a urologist can treat problems such as urine blockage in a ureter. The urologist can also
- remove a stone from a ureter or kidney
- remove or treat abnormal tissue and tumors
- take a sample of ureter or kidney tissue for a biopsy
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Short Term Vs Long Term Catheters
Short-term catheter drainage of the bladder is frequently performed for patients undergoing surgical procedures or for those unable to pass urine because of obstruction to the urethra such as men with an enlarged prostate which compresses and closes the urethra. A catheter may be required to introduce therapeutic drugs or to record bladder pressures.
Long-term catheter drainage of the bladder is considered only as a last resort because of the risk of complications from catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Patients treated in this way form a heterogeneous group which includes those with neurological conditions that prevent the bladder from emptying.
This group includes people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis or stroke, those with intractable urinary incontinence or chronic debilitating illnesses which restrict their mobility and ability to use a commode or toilet and finally, those who are unfit to undergo surgery.
Passage of a urinary catheter to drain and collect urine from the bladder can resolve a wide range of medical problems and hence its judicious application plays a pivotal role in patient management.
How To Insert A Catheter
This article was medically reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous therapy using physical, psychological, and emotional support. She received her Massage Therapist License from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 28 testimonials and 87% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 927,862 times.
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Caring For Your Leg Bag
- The tubing from your leg bag should fit down to your calf with your leg slightly bent. If you have extra tubing, you may need to cut it. Your nurse will show you how to do this.
- Always wear the leg bag below your knee. This will help it drain.
- Place the leg bag on your calf using the Velcro® straps your nurse gave you. Use a leg strap to secure the tubing to your thigh.
- If the straps leave a mark on your leg, they are too tight. Loosen them. Leaving the straps too tight can decrease your blood flow and cause blood clots.
- Empty the leg bag into the toilet every 2 to 4 hours, as needed. You can do this through the spout at the bottom. Dont let the bag become completely full.
- Dont lie down for longer than 2 hours while youre wearing the leg bag.
Treatment Of A Urinary Catheter Infection
If a urine test comes back positive but the bacteria are not making you unwell, it’s usually safer not to take antibiotics.
If you get a kidney or blood infection from your catheter, you will need antibiotics to treat it.
Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE
Page last reviewed: 22 November 2019 Next review due: 22 November 2022
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Intravesical Therapy For Bladder Cancer
With intravesical therapy, the doctor puts a liquid drug right into your bladder rather than giving it by mouth or injecting it into your blood. The drug is put in through a soft catheter that’s put into your bladder through your urethra. The drug stays in your bladder for up to 2 hours. This way, the drug can affect the cells lining the inside of your bladder without having major effects on other parts of your body.
What Should I Expect After A Cystoscopy Or Ureteroscopy
You will be able to go home after almost any cystoscopy performed in an outpatient office setting. If it is performed in an operating room, you will most likely go home the same day as the procedure, depending on what type of anesthesia you receive. If you receive general anesthesia, you may have to wait 1 to 4 hours before going home. In some cases, you may need to stay overnight in the hospital.
Before leaving, try to use the restroom to make sure you can urinate. Youll be given discharge instructions for rest, driving, and physical activities after the procedure.
Depending on your procedure and what was done, you may
- have a mild burning feeling when urinating
- see small amounts of blood in the urine
- have mild discomfort in the bladder area or kidney area when urinating
- need to urinate more frequently or urgently
These problems should not last more than 24 hours. Tell a health care professional right away if bleeding or pain is severe, if you cannot urinate, or if problems last more than a day.
Once you are at home, your health care professional may recommend you
- drink 16 ounces of water each hour for a few hours after the procedure
- take a warm bath to relieve any burning feeling
- hold a warm, damp washcloth over the urethral opening to relieve discomfort
- take an over-the-counter pain reliever
- take an antibiotic for 1 or 2 days to prevent an infection
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What Causes Bladder Cancer
Healthcare providers and researchers dont know exactly why certain bladder cells mutate and become cancerous cells. Theyve identified many different risk factors that may increase your chance of developing bladder cancer, including:
- Cigarette smoke: Smoking cigarettes more than doubles your risk of developing bladder cancer. Smoking pipes and cigars and being exposed to second-hand smoke may also increase your risk.
- Radiation exposure: Radiation therapy to treat cancer may increase your risk of developing bladder cancer.
- Chemotherapy: Certain chemotherapy drugs may increase your risk.
- Exposure to certain chemicals: Studies show that people who work with certain chemicals used in dyes, rubber, leather, paint, some textiles and hairdressing supplies may have an increased risk.
- Frequent bladder infections: People who have frequent bladder infections, bladder stones or other urinary tract infections may be at an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma.
- Chronic catheter use: People who have a chronic need for a catheter in their bladder may be at risk for squamous cell carcinoma.
How Do I Take Care Of Myself
About half of all people with bladder cancer have early-stage cancer thats relatively easy to treat. But bladder cancer often comes back . People whove had bladder cancer will need regular checkups after treatment. Being vigilant about follow-up care is one thing you can do to take care of yourself. Here are some other suggestions from the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network include:
- Follow a heart-healthy diet: Plan menus that include skinless poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, nuts and legumes, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Focus on high-fiber foods: Bladder cancer treatment may cause digestive issues and a fiber-rich diet may help.
- Get some exercise: Gentle exercise may help manage stress.
- Connect with others: Bladder cancer often comes back. Its not easy to have a rare disease thats likely to return. Connecting with people who understand what youre going through may help.
Some people with bladder cancer need surgery that removes their bladder and their bodies natural reservoir for pee. There are three types of urinary diversion surgeries. All three types involve surgically converting part of your intestine to become a passage tube for pee or a reservoir for storing pee.
Urinary diversion may be a challenging lifestyle change. If youll need urinary diversion surgery, ask your healthcare provider to explain each surgery types advantages and disadvantages. That way, youll know what to expect and how to take care of yourself.
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When Urinary Catheters Are Used
A urinary catheter is usually used when people have difficulty peeing naturally. It can also be used to empty the bladder before or after surgery and to help perform certain tests.
Specific reasons a urinary catheter may be used include:
- to allow urine to drain if you have an obstruction in the tube that carries urine out of your bladder . For example, because of scarring or prostate enlargement
- to allow you to urinate if you have bladder weakness or nerve damage that affects your ability to pee
- to drain your bladder during childbirth if you have an epidural anaesthetic
- to drain your bladder before, during or after some types of surgery
- to deliver medicine directly into the bladder, such as during chemotherapy for bladder cancer
- as a last resort treatment for urinary incontinence when other types of treatment have been unsuccessful
Depending on the type of catheter you have and why it’s being used, the catheter may be removed after a few minutes, hours or days, or it may be needed for the long term.
How Do You Care For A Urinary Catheter
One-time use catheters and reusable catheters are available. For reusable catheters, be sure to clean both the catheter and the area where it enters the body with soap and water to reduce the risk of a UTI. One-time use catheters come in sterile packaging, so only your body needs cleaning before inserting the catheter.
You should also drink plenty of water to keep your urine clear or only slightly yellow. This will help prevent infection.
Empty the drainage bag used to collect the urine at least every 8 hours and whenever the bag is full. Use a plastic squirt bottle containing a mixture of vinegar and water or bleach and water to clean the drainage bag. Read more on clean intermittent self-catheterization.
While UTIs are the most common side effects associated with urinary catheters, there are other potential side effects that you may discuss with your doctor. These include:
- bladder spasms and pain, which may feel like stomach cramps
- blood or other debris getting trapped inside the catheter tube, which may stem from blockage in the catheters drainage system
- catheter leakage, which may happen from a blockage in the system, or from pushing during toileting if youre constipated
- urethra or bladder injuries
While not all side effects from urinary catheter use are completely avoidable, you may help reduce your risk with certain dietary and hygiene steps, as well as preventing blockages in the catheters drainage system.
Discuss the following risk factors with your doctor:
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Catheters : The Basics Of Urinary Catheter Types
There are three main types of Catheters: intermittent catheters, indwelling catheters, and external catheters. Both intermittent catheters and indwelling catheters are considered internal urinary catheters, and as the name suggests, external catheters are considered external urinary catheters. Read on to learn more about these 3 types and the different types of each.
What Is A Catheter
A catheter is a thin, flexible tube that can put fluids into your body or take them out.
If you have trouble peeing or canât control when you pee, a urinary catheter that goes into your bladder can get rid of urine for you. If you need blood or medicine, your doctor might use an intravenous catheter thatâs connected to one of your veins with a needle. For example, if you had cancer and needed chemotherapy, thatâs how youâd get it.
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Why Do Health Care Professionals Perform Cystoscopy
A urologist performs a cystoscopy to find the cause of, and sometimes treat, urinary tract problems such as
- pain or burning before, during, or after urination
- trouble starting urination, completing urination, or both
- abnormal cells, such as cancer cells, found in a urine sample
During a cystoscopy, a urologist can see
- stonessolid pieces of material in the bladder formed by high concentrations of minerals in the urine
- abnormal tissue, tumors, or cancer in the urethra or bladder
- stricture, a narrowing of the urethraa possible sign of an enlarged prostate in men or of scar tissue in the urethra
- secondary signs of obstruction , such as an enlarged prostate gland
- other congenital or acquired abnormalities such as duplicated ureters, ureterocele, or diverticulum
During a cystoscopy, a urologist can sometimes treat problems, such as bleeding in the bladder and blockage in the urethra. A urologist may also use a cystoscopy to