Urinary catheter is used to drain and collect urine from the urinary bladder. Read to know how urinary catheterisation is done.
Intermittent urinary catheter
An intermittent catheter is temporarily inserted into the bladder and removed after the bladder is empty. It is inserted long enough just to drain your bladder before being removed. The catheter has to be inserted at least four times a day. A new catheter should be used each time to reduce the risk of infection. The catheter is usually inserted through the urethra (the tube through which urine passes from bladder to out of your body) to the bladder. Before insertion, the sterilised catheter is lubricated with a sterile gel. If needed, a local anaesthetic cream may be applied on the opening of your urethra to reduce sensation and pain.
Clean intermittent urinary catheter
Clean intermittent catheterisation (CIC) is a type of catheter, which may be used by the patient at home. The health care provider can train you to use it by yourself at home. It is usually preferred for people with long-term conditions such as spina bifida or other causes of urinary incontinence, which interfere with normal bladder function.
The catheter is inserted through the urethra (the tube through which urine passes from bladder to out of your body) to the bladder and the urine will flow out of your bladder through the catheter. The other end of the catheter is guided into the toilet. Initially, you may feel the procedure is a little painful, but it usually subsides over time. How often CIC will be needed depends on the individual.
Indwelling urinary catheter
An indwelling catheter is usually inserted through the urethra into the bladder. In some cases, it may be inserted through a hole in the abdomen into the bladder. A sterilised catheter is lubricated with a sterile gel. A local anaesthetic cream is usually applied on the opening of your urethra to reduce sensation and pain. The doctor later inserts the catheter through the urethra in the bladder. A drainage bag is attached to the other end of the catheter to collect the urine.
If the indwelling catheter has to be left for a long time, a long-term indwelling catheter such as a Foley catheter is preferred. It has a small balloon at the end of the tube that is inserted into your bladder. The balloon is inflated after the catheter is inserted. When inflated, the balloon prevents the catheter from sliding out of your body. Before removing the catheter, the balloon is deflated.
To reduce the risk of infection, aseptic precautions are used while insertion and the catheter is changed every three to six weeks.
A suprapubic catheter is inserted through a hole in the abdomen into your bladder. The catheter is inserted under a general anaesthetic (puts you to sleep throughout the procedure) and do not feel any pain
This indwelling type of catheterisation is done if the urethra is damaged or if the person has a long-term condition and cannot or does not want to use a clean intermittent catheter. A drainage bag is attached to the other end of the catheter to collect the urine. The catheter is usually changed every six to eight weeks.