Discharge Instructions: Bladder Training with a Suprapubic Catheter

You are going home with a suprapubic catheter, a tube used to drain urine from your bladder. Your doctor placed the catheter directly into your bladder through a tiny incision in your abdomen. You will need to train your bladder to work as it did before. It takes time after illness or injury for you to feel the urge to urinate. And your bladder may not empty completely. Because of this, you will need to check the amount of urine in your bladder.

By clamping and unclamping the catheter, you will learn to urinate the way you did before you received the catheter. The amount of urine that you pass through the urethra will increase, and the amount of urine draining from your catheter will decrease. When you reach less than 50–75 ml from your catheter for several days, your doctor may want to remove your catheter.

Home care

  • Use the bathroom at least every 3 hours.

  • Try to pass your urine normally into a container. The container should be a measuring container, so you can determine the amount of urine you passed. Don’t be discouraged if this takes some time for you to learn.

  • Measure the amount of urine in the container.

  • Unclamp your catheter.

  • Drain the urine from your catheter.

  • Measure the amount of urine.

  • Clamp your catheter.

  • Write down the amount of urine that you passed normally and the amount from your catheter.

  • Add the two amounts together and record the total. Also record the date and time.

  • Try to increase the amount of urine you pass normally and decrease the amount left in your catheter.

  • Tell your doctor when you are draining less than 50–75 ml from your catheter.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Urine that is cloudy, bloody, or smells bad

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38°C) or shaking chills

  • Rash, itching, redness, swelling, or drainage at the catheter site

  • Full feeling in your bladder or bladder pain

  • Catheter that is clogged or feels clogged

  • No urine drainage

  • Urine leaking around catheter

  • Catheter or stitches that fall out


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