A suprapubic catheter is a thin tube that drains urine from your bladder. The tube is put into your bladder through a small cut in your lower belly. The urine collects in a bag attached to the tube. The bag is usually attached to your leg. Sometimes the catheter tube has a valve that lets you drain the urine into the toilet or other container.
You may need a suprapubic catheter if you have nerve damage, a problem with your urinary tract, or a disease that weakens your muscles.
Having a catheter for a long time increases the risk of getting a urinary tract infection. So catheter care focuses on preventing infection.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Wash your hands before you handle the catheter.
- Clean the area around the catheter with soap and water daily.
- Keep the drainage bag lower than your bladder to keep urine from backing up.
- Clean the bag every day after removing it from the catheter. Use another container while you clean the bag. To clean the bag, fill it with 2 parts vinegar to 3 parts water and let it stand for 20 minutes. Then empty it out, and let it air dry.
- Empty the drainage bag when it is full or at least every 8 hours.
When should you call for help?
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your catheter becomes blocked and urine does not collect in the drainage bag.
- Your catheter leaks.
- You have blood or pus in your urine.
- You have pain in your back just below your rib cage. This is called flank pain.
- You have a fever, chills, or body aches.
- You have groin or belly pain.
- Your urine is cloudy or smells bad.
- You have pain, increasing redness, or bleeding around the catheter.
- You have swelling around the catheter or in your belly.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.
Where can you learn more?
Enter D213 in the search box to learn more about "Suprapubic Catheter Care: Care Instructions".