Indwelling catheter care

Alternate Names

Foley catheter

Description

You have an indwelling catheter (tube) in your bladder. "Indwelling" means inside your body. This catheter drains urine from your bladder into a bag outside your body. Common reasons to have an indwelling catheter are urinary incontinence (leakage), urinary retention (not being able to urinate), surgery that made this catheter necessary, or another health problem.

What to Expect at Home

You will need to make sure your indwelling catheter is working properly. You will also need to know how to clean the tube and the area where it attaches to your body so that you do not get an infection or skin irritation. Make catheter and skin care part of your daily routine.

Avoid physical activity for a week or two after your catheter is placed in your bladder.

Cleaning Your Skin

You will need these supplies for cleaning your skin around your catheter and for cleaning your catheter:

Follow these skin care guidelines once a day, every day, or more often if needed:

Cleaning the Catheter

Follow these steps two times a day to keep your catheter clean and free of germs that can cause infection:

Women will attach the catheter to their inner thigh. Men will attach it to their belly.

Making Sure Your Catheter Is Working

You will need to check your catheter and bag throughout the day.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if:

References

Chochran S. Care of the indwelling urinary catheter: is it e vidence? J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2007 May-Jun;34(3):282-8.


Review Date: 10/11/2010
Reviewed By: Jennifer K. Mannheim, ARNP, Medical Staff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital; and Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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