What is the role of suprapubic catheters in urinary incontinence treatment?

Updated: Jan 22, 2021
  • Author: Sandip P Vasavada, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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When long-term catheterization is anticipated, a suprapubic catheter is an attractive alternative to a urethral catheter. Restrict the use of indwelling catheters to the following situations:

  • As comfort measures for terminally ill patients
  • To avoid contamination or to promote healing of severe pressure sores
  • In case of inoperable urethral obstruction that prevents bladder emptying
  • In individuals who are severely impaired for whom alternative interventions are not an option
  • When an individual lives alone and a caregiver is unavailable to provide other supportive measures
  • For acutely ill persons in whom accurate fluid balance must be monitored
  • For severely impaired persons for whom bed and clothing changes are painful or disruptive

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