Removing an Indwelling Catheter

Catheters are commonly used for a variety of reasons. Indwelling catheters are frequently used following surgery or in patients who suffer from incontinence. Though indwelling catheters are designed to be worn over an extended period of time, they still need to be removed from time to time to be replaced and to prevent complications.

Removing a male catheter is a fairly straightforward process. Before you begin, collect everything you need including a container to catch spilled urine and a syringe for deflating the balloon. Empty the collection bag. Wash your hands and under your fingernails thoroughly. It is also important to cleanse the penis, cleaning away from the urethra opening.

How to Remove an Indewelling Catheter

Place the container between your legs to catch any urine that may be spilled. Use the syringe to deflate the balloon through the catheter valve. Once all the fluid has been drained from the balloon, relax, and gently remove the catheter. You may experience some discomfort. Before disposing of the used catheter, inspect it for any signs of encrustation which may have caused injury to the urethra. This is especially important if you will be inserting a new catheter. When you are finished, dispose of the catheter properly, and wash your hands and insertion site.

After You Remove Your Indwelling Catheter

During and immediately following the removal of your catheter, there are several things you should make yourself aware of. If the catheter does not come out with a gentle tug, contact your health care professional for assistance immediately. If you are not inserting another catheter immediately after removing one, pay attention to your urine output. If your bladder does not seem to be fully draining or if you do not urinate within eight hours of removing a catheter, call your doctor. You should also seek medical attention if you develop a fever, have a full or bloated feeling in your abdomen, you experience heavy bleeding or if you experience a burning sensation during urination that lasts for more than 24 hours following the removal of a catheter. These could be signs of an infection or your bladder may not be draining completely on its own. When left untreated, these can lead to severe complications.