How Do You Take Care of a Suprapubic Catheter?
During your surgery, a suprapubic catheter was inserted through your lower abdomen into your bladder.
The catheter helps your bladder rest and heal. It is generally left in place for 2-4 weeks after the surgery.
Each morning and night, the dressing is changed and the skin around the catheter cleaned.
This is best done in the shower, but can also be done while sitting or lying down.
- Liquid soap
- Antibiotic ointment
- A small, clean hand towel
- A 4 x 4 gauze dressing
- Sharp scissors, cleaned with isopropyl alcohol
- Surgical tape
Always, before you touch the catheter or the dressing, carefully wash and dry your hands.
Before going into the shower, ensure that the catheter plug is secure in the end of the catheter.
Gently remove the dressing from around the catheter. Discard it into the trash.
Retape the end of the catheter to the abdomen.
Examine the skin around the catheter by pulling up on the lower abdomen or using a mirror.
A small amount of redness and clear drainage is a normal reaction of the skin to the catheter.
A large area of redness or colored or foul smelling drainage must be reported to your doctor.
Again, wash and dry your hands.
Go into the shower, taking the liquid soap and washcloth with you.
Clean the rest of your body without touching the catheter or the lower abdomen.
Then, soap the washcloth and use it to clean gently around the catheter site. It is not used for the rest of your body.
Come out of the shower and dry your body without touching the lower abdomen.
Then gently clean the catheter site with the hand towel. Discard the washcloth and hand towel into the laundry.
Apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment to the skin around the catheter site.
Use the cleansed scissors to cut halfway up the 4 by 4 gauze dressing.
Place the gauze dressing around the catheter.
Tape the gauze to the abdomen and check that the tape holding the end of the catheter to the abdomen is secure.
Wash and dry your hands.
When you remove the plug from the catheter to allow urine to drain, always wipe the plug with alcohol before replacing it.
A prepackaged alcohol wipe is good for this purpose.
If you connect your catheter to a drainage bag overnight, store the plug in a disposable plastic cup of isopropyl alcohol.