A catheter is a thin, flexible and hollow tube that creates a passageway for urine to drain out of the bladder and into a drainage bag. Catheters are often administered at health care facilities, but using a catheter at home has become quite common in recent years as it is quite easy to use. However, while inserting a catheter may seem straightforward and painful, removing one is difficult and could be even more painful.
Unless you have any specific questions or concerns, you can follow this instruction to remove an inserted catheter safely. Your health care provider is better informed about your current health conditions, so it is recommended to consult with them first regarding the safe removal or catheter.
In case you are experiencing severe, uncontrollable pain, then seek medical attention immediately. Also, have someone to help you out in removing the catheter following these steps:
- Wash your hands with water and soap and dry them well before gathering the supplies. Your supplies should include a syringe provided by the health care provider, a towel, and a waste basket.
- Before you start removing the catheter, make sure that the drainage bag attached to the other end of the catheter which is being removed. Once you remove it, use the spare syringe to remove water from the balloon port that is placed between the catheter and the drainage bag. The syringe should fit tightly into the balloon port with a twist motion thrust.
- Once the water from the balloon port is removed, empty the drainage bag if it has urine content, then dispose of the syringe.
- Once the balloon and drainage bags are empty, it is time to take out the catheter. Do so by gently and slowly pulling out the catheter. Most likely you will experience some pain during this stage but don’t worry and carry on unless other complications arise.
- Dispose the used catheter in the waste basket and use the towel to wipe off any spilled water or urine.
- Wash your hands again and you are ready to go!
Simple, right? This is one of the reasons why some patients are encouraged to use catheters at home by their health care providers. That being said, there are instances where you will need to have medical care and support. If any of the following situations happen to you during or after removing the catheter, then call your healthcare provider and seek medical attention immediately:
- If you experience fever at 100.4°F (38°C) or higher temperatures
- If the catheter is not coming out with gentle pulling.
- If you cannot urinate within 6 to 8 hours of removing the catheter.
- If you experience abdominal pain or have a bloated abdomen.
- If you experience burning sensation and pain while urinating that lasts for 24 hours.
- If you see large amounts of blood in the urine – light bleeding within 24 hours of catheter removal is considered normal.
- If you feel that your bladder is not emptying.
- If you are having difficulties in removing the catheter.