Catheters are a
Part of Life
Long-term urinary drainage catheters also called indwelling catheters, are simply a part of life for many.
A doctor may recommend an indwelling catheter for you if you are unable to control or regulate when you urinate.
This could be a result of incontinence, involuntary or uncontrolled leakage of urine, or urinary retention, the inability to completely empty the bladder.
Reasons contributing to your inability to regulate urination could include:
- Spinal cord injury
- Surgery on or enlargement of your prostate gland
- Blocked urine flow due to kidney stones or blood clots in the urine
- Pelvic surgery such as hip repair or hysterectomy
- Injury to the nerves of the bladder
- Medications impairing muscle control of the bladder
- Conditions impairing cognitive function, such as dementia
- Spina bifida
Unfortunately, indwelling catheters can be uncomfortable and irritating.
Most catheters available today include a lengthy drainage tip and large fixation balloon which contributes to excessive rubbing on the bladder wall and tenting as the tip protrudes against the inner mucosal lining.This irritation can lead to infection, also known as Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI).
As a result, current recommendations support minimizing the use or extended use of urinary catheters. However, for many this is not an option.