What are advantages of suprapubic catheters in urinary incontinence treatment?

Updated: Sep 23, 2019
  • Author: Sandip P Vasavada, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Suprapubic catheters have many advantages, as follows:

  • The risk of urethral damage is eliminated

  • Multiple voiding trials may be performed without having to remove the catheter

  • Because the catheter comes out of the lower abdomen rather than the vaginal area, a suprapubic tube is more patient-friendly

  • Bladder spasms occur less often because the suprapubic catheter does not irritate the trigone as the urethral catheter does

  • Suprapubic tubes are more sanitary for the individual; bladder infections are minimized because the tube is away from the perineum

Suprapubic catheters are changed easily by either a nurse or a doctor. Unlike the urethral catheter, a suprapubic tube is less likely to become dislodged because the exit site is so small. When the tube is removed, the hole in the abdomen quickly seals itself within 1-2 days.

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