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What is a suprapubic catheter?

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Quick Answer

Suprapubic catheters are used to drain urine from the bladder. They are inserted into the bladder through a small hole in the belly, according to MedlinePlus.

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What is a suprapubic catheter?
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Full Answer

Suprapubic catheters are used for patients with urinary incontinence, urinary retention or surgical operations requiring catheters to avoid infection. They need to be changed every four to six weeks, says MedlinePlus. The catheter can be changed by the patient if no other help is available. A patient should drink eight to twelve glasses of water daily for several days after the catheter has been changed. Physical activity should be avoided for up to two weeks. It is also recommend that patients keeps the catheter taped to their stomach.

These catheters can be purchased at medical supply stores with a doctors prescription. If a patient is at home he also needs sterile gloves, a catheter pack, syringes, sterile cleaning solutions, surgilube and a drainage bag. Medicine may also be prescribed for the patient's bladder, claims MedlinePlus.

A patient should check the skin near the catheter for redness, pain, swelling or pus. The area should be washed daily with mild soap and water and dried gently. Creams, powders or sprays should not be used near the site, reports MedlinePlus.

A doctor should be contacted if a patient notices signs of infection, grit or stones in the urine or blood several days after leaving the hospital, says MedlinePlus.

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