Would a catheter make life easier

For those patients that have to deal with it, a fundamentally difficult part of recovering from surgery can be the process of catheterization.  If you are suffering from urinary retention for any reason, it can be not just difficult to learn the new processes that your body requires but embarrassing to even consider them.  Patients at the Woman’s Clinic will find the staff incredibly helpful and easy to work with in this regard.  They are professional and courteous and dedicated to making every patient’s stay as comfortable as possible.  Patients can also help themselves by becoming familiar with the procedures which they will have to endure. 


There are two basic catheter types that our patients can utilize, when a doctor deems it necessary.  The most well known is probably the Foley catheter, also known as an indwelling catheter, which uses a bag that is attached to your body.  Intermittent Self Catheterization (ISC) is perhaps less invasive, but it does require more effort from the patient for each use.   Choosing which catheter is best is a matter to be determined for each individual patient--and one that depends on a variety of factors.  Lifestyle factors and personal choice matter a great deal when deciding on a catheter. 

An indwelling catheter comes with a drainage bag attached.  This can be adhered to your body in a place where it is the least invasive for your life (often on the side or leg).  If you are using a Foley cath, it is imperative to have arrangements made to have it checked out regularly.  A home care nurse needs to check the levels, make sure it is not leaking, and test how well the patient’s bladder is performing.  Our office can arrange for a check-in two to three days after your catheter has been inserted, though patients should set up their own home-care with an insurance-approved agency. 

If the patient has the option, Intermittent Self Catheterization can be a better system of urinary release.  The hospital should be able to supply all the necessary tools, and a nurse should be able to help the patient learn proper ISC techniques relatively easily.  One of the most important parts of ISC usage is maintaining cleanliness.  Always wash hands and maintain sterility when handling your catheter.  Most self-inserted catheters are single-use varieties, though some can be reused.   A reusable catheter is often good for up to a week of use, and must be washed and handled with extra care between each use.  ISC can help with recovery, as the regular filling and emptying of the bladder allows those muscles to work at a normal pace. 

Catheters are used by people from every walk of life.  A simple medical procedure that is made necessary by a wide variety of causes, they are certainly nothing of which to be ashamed.  If you have questions or concerns about wearing a catheter, do not hesitate to contact the Woman’s Clinic PA to discuss them.  The team here is ready to help you improve your health and your life.