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What they don't tell you about catheters

Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

I recieved practically zero guidance on catheter issues upon leaving the hospital. I've had to learn by trial, research and error. He'res what I know so far:

- Briefs are bad. Wear the loosest pants you have. I think many of my problems with tenderness and some swelling are due to the irritation of briefs and jeans bending everything too tightly.
- Obviously, drink lots of water. I'm shooting for 90oz/day or more. I read somewhere that after 5 days, most cathetered patients develop a healthy colony of bacteria which may or may not caus problems, so keeping things moving makes sense. Also, Sonny says that keeping the bladded "working" is good for long term continence.
- Lube, lube lube. I was told to use antibacterial ointment so that's what I'm doing every time I empty the bag.
- Shower every day and soap everthing up real good down there. Antibacterial soap is best (see point #2 above).
- Wash hands before and after emptying the bag (see point #2 above).
- When cleaning the bag, fill it with 2 parts bleach, 3 parts water and let sit for 20 minutes. Then air dry. White vinegar can be substituted for bleach.
- For the large bag, tape the tube to your leg in 2 places securely. I found some reusable athletic bands that work great.
- Put the cateter in a bowl if it's sitting on the floor or hanging next to you. This saved us once as the tube at the bootom of the bag had become unclamped.
- Aparently, almost everyone develops a UTI at some point (perhaps after removal). My Dr said to take Cipro (antibiotic) one day prior to catheter removal. I'm sure that's to ward off a UTI.

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure there are others out there that can add to the list.

God bless,

lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

Sorry to hear they didn't tell you anything about the cath before leaving the hospital.
I was actually given a video on how to care for it plus a nurse spoke to me for about 15 minutes about it before discharge.


Posts: 241
Joined: May 2007

Test--Site not reponding.

Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

@ things I never see mentioned here. Watch out when sitting on a toilet seat as you may pinch or cut the tube. Second watch out for jumping dogs as they can tear the tube out. Sounds stupid but both almost happened to me. Thank God i only had that ball and chain in for 6 days. lol


Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

6 days seems really short. How did you get away with that ??

Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

I know thats what I have been hearing but my doctor was confident he did a good job and so far hes right. I have no incontinence at all and that may have been why,dont know for sure but maybe.


Posts: 58
Joined: Sep 2009

My husband's doctor went over the catheter at length, and he instructed that he never use anything except plain old soap (like Ivory) and water, no lubrication stuff. And no anti-bacterial stuff either as it kills the good bugs as well as the bad, and ya need the good ones.

That cipro at the end sounds like a good idea, although he didn't take any and he didn't get a UTI.

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