A Foley catheter is a rubber or silicone tube that is placed through the urethra and into the bladder. This catheter drains urine from the bladder. There is a small balloon at the end of the tube that is inflated after insertion. This balloon keeps the catheter from sliding out.
A Foley is used to treat patients who cannot urinate on there own or who have incontinence or loss of bladder control.
How to care for a catheter at home:
It is important to keep bacteria from entering into the collection bag. Do not disconnect the catheter from the collection bag. This will help prevent contamination.
Use a leg band to secure the drainage tube so it does not pull on the catheter. Drain the bag when it becomes full using the drain spout at the bottom of the bag.
If the bag does become too full, urine will back up and you will feel like you have to urinate. This feeling should resolve after the bag is emptied.
Sometimes you can feel urgency or frequency even while the catheter is draining the urine completely. It can be the irritation and spasm of the bladder wall causing this, and can be normal.
Do not try to pull or move your catheter. This can injure your urethra. It must be removed by a doctor or nurse.
You may shower with the catheter in place, just dry it off afterwards.
If urine starts to leak around the catheter and is not draining into the bag, the tube could be blocked. Make sure not to allow the catheter to kink or the bag to get too full. Try to stand or walk if possible to see if the catheter will start to drain. If the catheter is not draining at all for a period of time it may nee to be irrigated to remove a clot, etc. or it may need to be replaced. Please call the office if this situation occurs so that we may give you guidance.
Follow up with your doctor, or as advised for repeat urine testing, catheter removal or replacement.