If you’re unable to control your bladder after surgery, your doctor will place a urinary catheter. The main risk of catheterization is urinary tract infection. Additionally, your urethra may become irritated, and the skin around the insertion site might show irritation. To prevent these risks, you must take proper care of your catheter.

Caring for Your Catheter

If your doctor placed an intermittent catheter, keep in mind that you have to dispose of it after every use.

In case you have a suprapubic, condom, or indwelling catheter, it will most likely have a urine collection bag. Always ensure that the urine bag is strapped to your thigh or lower leg securely with medical tape. When emptying the leg bag, always use powder free gloves to avoid direct contact with urine, which can cause infection. Also, be careful not to let the catheter port to touch the toilet.

Cleaning your catheter

If your doctor placed a suprapubic or Foley catheter, don’t change or remove it yourself. Always keep the catheter and skin around the insertion site clean. When cleaning the surrounding skin, look for common signs of infection. If you notice any swelling, redness, pus, or feel pain, contact your physician or nurse immediately.

Changing your leg bag to a bedside drainage bag

If your doctor placed a suprapubic or indwelling catheter, you won’t have to change the catheter. However, you will need to change the collection bag regularly. You can choose to use either a leg bag or a bed side drainage bag. The leg bag is attached to your leg, and you can wear it during the day. On the other hand, the bedside drainage bag is larger, and you can connect it to the catheter before you go to bed.

While you should empty the leg bag when half full, the bedside drainage bag is designed to hold more urine, and you can use it overnight. In case you spend most of your time indoors, you may use a bedside drainage bag even during the day.

To change your leg bag, follow these simple steps:

  • Wash your hands with clean water
  • Soak a cotton tipped applicator in a disinfectant and clean the tip of your bedside drainage bag
  • Prevent leaks by pinching the catheter tube before you disconnect your leg bag
  • Connect the catheter tubing to the clean bedside drainage bag
  • Wash the leg bag and hang to dry.

Where to Get Your Catheter

Urinary catheters are important, especially after surgery. These devices come in different sizes, styles, and materials, and you need to find a store with the right one for you. At Medical Supply Depot, you will find the best catheter products and accessories. Call (800) 965-7496 to place your order today.


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