Self-Catheterization After Bladder Surgery For Women
This handout has been prepared to help you learn about self-catheterization after bladder surgery. Step-by-step instructions are given. Please write down any questions you have while reading this and ask your doctor or nurse. If you have questions or concerns when you are at home, please call the numbers listed at the end of this handout.
What Is Self-Catheterization?
Self-catheterization is the regular emptying of the bladder with a clean plastic or rubber catheter. After the surgery you have had, it is necessary to drain the bladder completely to help you heal and to prevent infection.
How the Urinary System Works
The urinary system consists of the kidney, bladder and connecting tubes.
The kidneys filter waste products and excess water from the blood stream. Kidneys make urine. Urine flows down the connecting tubes (ureters) to the bladder. The bladder collects and stores the urine.
How Often Will You Catheterize?
You should catheterize after you urinate. This ensures that your bladder is empty. The length of time you will be required to do this after surgery will vary.
The goal is to have less than ______ mL in your bladder after urinating.
1 A clean plastic or rubber catheter. You will be given a 6-inch Mentor catheter.
2. Water-soluble lubricant may be needed (K-Y jelly, lubrifax, or Surgilube®). DO NOT USE VASELINE--it's not water-soluble and could damage the catheter.
3. A plastic container to collect urine.
- Hint: A urinal has a handle to hang onto while using the catheter and easily measures the amount of urine emptied.
- You will be given a container to place on your toilet seat at home to measure how much you urinate.
4. Antibacterial soap and water, or antiseptic towelettes.
5. Mirror, as needed.
The Step by Step Procedure for Women
1. Gather the equipment.
2. Urinate and measure the amount.
3. Wash your hands and genital area. When washing your genital area, only wipe from front to back, never back to front.
4. Get the catheter wet with tap water. This will activate the lubricant on the catheter. If needed, lubricate the catheter with the lubricant about 2 inches from the tip.
5. Separate your labia (the outer lips of your genital area), using one hand
6. Locate your urethra (opening of the tube to your bladder) by feel or using a mirror.
a. Hold the catheter close to its tip.
b. Gently insert it into your urethra.
c. Direct it upward toward your bladder until urine flows. (see picture)
d. Insert the catheter one more inch after urine starts to flow.
8. Allow all of the urine to flow out.
9. After the urine has stopped flowing, remove the catheter slowly. If more urine flows out at one spot, stop there for a moment to let it drain.
10. Wash the catheter with antibacterial liquid soap and water. Rinse well. Drain the water out. Dry the outside of the catheter with a clean towel. Place the catheter on a clean towel so the inside dries. Wetness causes bacteria to grow.
11. Store the catheter is a clean container or plastic bag. It will be okay to reuse the same catheter several times.
About the Catheter
If you use the Mentor Self-Cath Plus®, it has a natural lubricant to make it slippery when wet. Tap water is enough to make it slippery for the first 4-5 uses. You can use the same catheter each time as long as it is washed well between uses. You will be more likely to get an infection if the catheter is not kept clean. It is also important to wash your hands and genital area before the procedure. The catheter is made of a strong plastic so it should not break or be damaged easily. If you notice any cuts or breaks in the catheter, do not use it and call the clinic for a new one.
1. Your doctor or nurse will want you to keep records of your progress after surgery. Use the attached flow sheet to record the amounts of urine after urinating and after using the catheter. This information will help your doctor understand how you are healing.
2. If you notice any of these symptoms, please call your nurse or
- bloody urine or bleeding from the urethra
- fever over 100.5° F (by mouth)
- difficulty urinating
- back pain
- stomach ache
3. If you notice any of these symptoms, drink more fluids.
- cloudy or dark-colored urine
- foul smelling urine
- solid flakes, mucous sediment floating in the urine
- If you leak urine you should have extra clothing and pads with you.
- If you are planning to travel, plan when and where you will be able to catheterize.
If you have questions about your catheterization program, please call.
Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm call:
Urology Clinic staff: 608-263-4757
Your Urologist is: _________________________
After Hours, Nights and Weekends, and Holidays: Call (608) 262-0486. This will give you the message center. Ask the operator for the Urology Resident doctor on call. Give the operator your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
Your Medical Record Number is: __________________________
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #7146.
|Day/Time||Voided/Unable to Void Amount ml or ounces||Cathed amount ml, oz||Dry Time Between Cathing|
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 02/04/2011
Copyright © 07/02/2009 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5916
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