Use of Foley Catheters in the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence

by Shruti Sharma Content Curator

A thin tube placed in the body for the purpose of draining and collecting urine from the bladder is known as a urinary catheter. You might be recommended to use a catheter if you have any of the following conditions:

·         Urinary incontinence

·         Surgery on the prostate or genitals

·         Urinary retention

·         Medical conditions such as spinal cord injury, dementia or multiple sclerosis, etc.

Catheters come in different sizes, types, and materials. The three main types of catheters are:

1.       Indwelling catheters

2.       Condom catheters

3.       Intermittent self-catheter

What is Urinary Incontinence?

Leakage of urine that’s out of your control is known as urinary incontinence. Besides being a medical problem, urinary incontinence can affect a person psychologically, emotionally and socially. Many people who have urinary incontinence find it difficult to perform daily activities as they try to stay as close to the toilet as possible. The condition can be treated with proper management.

Foley Catheters

Urinary incontinence is more common in the elderly. It results due to the prostate gland getting enlarged and depressing the urethra. This leads to the hindrance that restricts the outflow of urine from the urethra. When the obstruction becomes more acute, the person is unable to empty the bladder. The bladder which continues to fill, swells over time, causing discomfort. Complete urinary incontinence is a dangerous condition that requires immediate medical assistance.  The catheter which is left for an extended period of time in the bladder is known as an indwelling catheter. It ensures regular drainage and proper treatment. Indwelling catheters are of two types

·         Indwelling foley catheters which are inserted in the urethra

·         Indwelling suprapubic catheters that go above the pubic bone via a small incision made in the belly.

Both these types are held in place via a small balloon.

Foley catheter is a thin, sterile cylindrical tube that is inserted into the bladder for the purpose of draining the accumulated urine.  It offers immediate relief to the patient.  Foley catheters cannot be used for more than 2 years. Therefore, those who require a catheter for longer-term use must consider a suprapubic catheter. A suprapubic catheter can only be placed by an urologist with minor surgery. The chances of infections are less when using suprapubic catheters because they stay only in the bladder.  Both Foley, as well as suprapubic catheters, must be taped to the upper thigh or lower belly. The risk of injury when the catheter is tugged accidentally is reduced by doing so. Catheters can either be made from silicone or latex with Teflon coating. The type of catheter that is suitable for you is decided by the healthcare provider.

A Foley catheter can also be used to collect urine samples on day to day basis for the identification of the following:

·         Abnormalities found in the ureters, kidneys, urethra, and bladder

·         Infection in the urinary tract

·         Monitoring the urine output in case of an injury to any organ associated with the urinary tract

·         Cause of development of stricture in the urethra (due to benign or malignant enlargement of the prostate gland)

It is important to keep all the basic supplies such as IV cannula and catheters at home, if you or your loved one requires nursing assistance.



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About Shruti Sharma Innovator   Content Curator

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Joined APSense since, November 29th, 2017, From Delhi, India.

Created on Nov 29th 2019 04:38. Viewed 251 times.


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