How is intermittent catheterization performed for the treatment of neurogenic bladder?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Bradley C Gill, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

Intermittent catheterization may be performed using a soft, red, rubber catheter or a short, rigid, plastic catheter. Plastic catheters are preferable to red rubber catheters because they are easier to clean and last longer.

The bladder must be drained on a regular basis, either based on a timed interval (eg, on awakening, every 3-6 hours during the day, and before bed) or based on bladder volume. Remember that the average adult bladder holds approximately 400-500 mL of urine. Ideally, the amount drained each time should not exceed 400-500 mL. This drainage limit may require decreasing the patient's fluid intake or increasing the frequency of catheterizations. For example, if catheterization is performed every 6 hours and the amount drained is 700 mL, increase the frequency of catheterization to, perhaps, every 4 hours to maintain the volume drained at 400-500 mL.


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