The Facts About Foley Catheters



Doctors use Foley catheter to treat patients facing problems in passing urine. Doctors insert Foley Catheter into the urinary bladder of the patient for draining out the urine. It is a thin sterile tube that can be left in the bladder for a considerable period of time. It is also referred as indwelling catheter.

Foley Catheter is positioned in one place through a balloon situated at its end. This balloon is filled with sterile water so as to keep it stationary in one place. The patient’s urine is drained into a bag, which can be subsequently drained out through an outlet device. The process of inserting the catheter is termed as catheterization.

Foley Catheter is considered as one of the important health resources for patients suffering from urinary tract malfunctioning. It is used to treat patients suffering from urine retention. Such patients feel immense strain while urinating. Their urinary stream may be subnormal in terms of size and force, leading to urinary hesitancy.

It is reckoned among the essential health resources for patients whose urethra is obstructed due to various medical conditions, such as prostate cancer and prostate hypertrophy. In case of people who are critically ill or injured, their urine output needs to be monitored. Doctors insert Foley catheter in such patients.

Foley catheter may also be inserted in patients suffering from spinal trauma. As this is a nerve-related trauma, it can also cause dysfunction of the urinary bladder, thereby requiring assistance in passing urine. To collect sterile urine specimen for diagnostic testing, the Foley catheter may be inserted.

Foley catheter insertion is associated with many risk factors. The balloon of the catheter may break when the catheter is inserted in the patient’s body. The doctor will then remove all the fragments formed by the ruptured balloon. The balloon of the Foley catheter may not inflate after the catheter is inserted into the urinary bladder. In such cases, doctors will have to insert another Foley catheter.

In some cases, urine may not flow into the bag or the flow of urine may suddenly halt. In such cases, doctors check the positioning of the bag and catheter in the patient’s body. They also examine the catheter’s tube to find the root cause for this sudden stoppage in the flow of urine.

If the urine flow is blocked, the doctor will need to change the bag or Foley catheter or both in some cases. In some patients, insertion of the catheter may lead to bleeding of the urethra. Doctor will then examine the bleeding in such cases.