Home > Health Library > Care for an Indwelling Urinary Catheter
catheter is a flexible plastic tube used to drain
urine from your bladder when you cannot urinate by yourself. A doctor will
place the catheter into the bladder by inserting it through the urethra, the
opening that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. When
the catheter is in the bladder, a small balloon is inflated to keep the
catheter in place. The catheter allows urine to drain from the bladder into a
bag that is usually attached to the thigh. Indwelling urinary catheters can be used in both men and women.
A catheter may be
needed because of certain medical conditions, such as an enlarged prostate, the
inability to control the release of urine, or after surgery on the pelvis or
urinary tract. Urinary catheters are also used when the lower part of the body
Always wash your hands before and
after handling your catheter. Follow all of the instructions your doctor has
given you. Also:
You will need to
empty the bag regularly, whenever it is half full, and at bedtime. If your
doctor has instructed you to measure the amount of urine, do so before you
empty the urine into the toilet.
If your doctor has given you
instructions about when to notify him or her, be sure to follow those
instructions. Call your doctor if:
After your catheter is taken
Also, it is important to know when you are having a
problem and when to call your doctor. After catheter removal, call your doctor
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerJ. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology
Current as ofAugust 21, 2015
Current as of:
August 21, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology
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