Whether yous’re having surgery, undergoing tests or take other medical needs involving your bladder, your doctor may need to insert a catheter to assist in your diagnosis or treatment processes. A catheter is a device that’s inserted into your float to bleed urine out of your body so it can then be collected for testing or disposed of. If you lot or a loved one need to undergo catheterization, learning more most what’due south involved, along with some other of import information related to catheterization for women, can help yous feel more confident near and better prepared for the procedure.
Catheters are simple devices; 1 of the near common, called a Foley catheter, consists of a hollow tube, a small balloon, a port and a drainage pocketbook. The small airship is situated on one end of the tube. This finish is inserted upward through a patient’southward urethra — which is the small channel that moves urine from the bladder to the exterior of a person’south trunk — and into her bladder. The balloon is then inflated with sterile water, which holds the catheter tube in place and prevents leakage. The port section splits the inserted portion of the tube into two separate tubes, one of which directs urine into the drainage bag. The other tube section allows for aggrandizement and deflation of the balloon.
A Foley catheter is a type of indwelling catheter. “Indwelling” means that the catheter remains inside the urethra and float for a short or long period of time, such as days or weeks, without removal. These types of catheters are generally used for managing long-term health weather, such as urinary incontinence or an inability to urinate. Doctors besides typically utilise indwelling catheters for people who are bedridden or unconscious due to atmospheric condition like a coma or because they’re under general anesthesia.
Another type of catheter insertion is called clean intermittent catheterization, or CIC. In this blazon of catheterization, the catheter doesn’t remain in the bladder and urethra and information technology also doesn’t take a airship on the end. Instead, the catheter tube is inserted briefly — only long plenty for the patient’due south float to drain — and then removed immediately. Medical professionals may perform CIC to obtain sterile urine samples from patients who take problem urinating or to mensurate a person’s urine output. Women who’ve had certain gynecologic surgeries may also opt to perform CIC on themselves if they’re unable to empty their bladders post-obit those procedures.
How Do Doctors Insert Catheters?
The method of insertion for a catheter depends on the type of catheterization that you need. If you’re having an indwelling catheter placed, during your appointment yous’ll remove clothing from the lower half of your body. You’ll need to lie flat, bend your knees and spread your legs so the clinician can access your urethra. They’ll then separate your labia to make clean your urethral opening and the area around it. Post-obit this, the clinician volition employ a polish-tipped syringe to inject a minor corporeality of lubricant into your urethra. This makes it easier for the catheter tubing to slide up to your float.
Once this prepping is complete, the clinician volition brainstorm gently sliding the make clean catheter upwardly through your urethra until it reaches your bladder and urine begins flowing out. They’ll inflate the balloon to concur the catheter in identify and, if they oasis’t yet, attach the drainage purse to the open terminate of the catheter tubing. You’ll wear and empty this purse (or replacement bags) until yous take the catheter removed. Most people who wear indwelling catheters secure the numberless to their legs so gravity helps the urine reach and stay in the handbag. If you’re having the catheter inserted for surgery, the doc may await until you’re already under anesthesia to place the device.
The process for placing an intermittent catheter is similar to that for the indwelling catheter. A clinician cleans around your urethra and lubricates it before placing the catheter tubing. Afterwards this, they can collect a urine sample and remove the catheter tubing. People also self-catheterize using CIC if they’re unable to void urine on their own or if they need to track their urine output for medical reasons. The procedure and the position your body is in may be somewhat dissimilar if you apply CIC at home — some people sit on the toilet and perform CIC to bleed their urine — and your doctor can testify you the proper technique to use in this situation.
Are There Any Risks With Catheterization?
Catheterization is a relatively unproblematic procedure — and ane that’southward common — but there are a few risks associated with having a catheter inserted. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is the well-nigh mutual problem for people who have indwelling catheters, according to the U.South. National Library of Medicine. This can happen if the catheter isn’t sterilized properly before insertion. If bacteria remain on the catheter when it’due south placed into your bladder, this tin can introduce the leaner into your bladder, where they brainstorm multiplying — resulting in infection.
After you’ve had an indwelling catheter placed, information technology’due south of import to exist on the sentinel for changes in your urine’s smell, amount and appearance. With a UTI, you might notice that your urine smells bad or has a much stronger odor than usual. Your urine might also look cloudy or thick, and you may notice blood in it. The corporeality of urine collecting in the drainage handbag may lessen fifty-fifty when you’re nevertheless drinking fluids.
Other UTI signs and symptoms to await out for include a fever, pain in your abdomen or lower back, chills, aches, discharge leaking around your urethra where the tube comes out and general fatigue. If you lot observe any of these symptoms afterward your catheter insertion, telephone call your doctor immediately. They can remove the catheter and requite you antibiotics to help clear upward the infection.
Insertion of a catheter tin can besides cause impairment to your urethra and to your bladder. Although it’s very rare, sometimes a catheter tube tin puncture a person’south bladder wall. If you have any questions or concerns about using or maintaining your catheter — or if you’re experiencing pain later on having it placed — don’t hesitate to call your medico for assistance.