An indwelling catheter is also called a foley catheter or "Foley.” It can be used in males or females. A Foley is usually left in the bladder and drains the bladder continuously.
Foley Catheter: Step by Step Process
1. Gather the Supplies
- Indwelling Foley Catheter Tray with a 10 cc balloon (size 16fr is a common size used for adults.) The tray comes with all the needed supplies
- Syringe to deflate the balloon of the existing catheter (if there is one already in the bladder)
- Soapy wash cloth and wet wash cloth
2. Wash hands with soap and water
3. Prepare all needed supplies
4. Lie flat on back with legs flat
5. If there is already a catheter in place, remove it by deflating the balloon.
- Attach the syringe to the end of the "Y" pigtail (side port).
- Withdraw the plunger of the syringe. This will deflate the balloon on the catheter inside the bladder.
- You will know it is completely deflated when you are unable to pull anymore water into the syringe.
6. Gently pull the catheter out from the bladder.
7. Wash penis
Wash with the soapy cloth and rinse with the wet cloth. Dry well.
8. Wash hands again.
9. Open the Indwelling Catheter Tray carefully. Set up the supplies.
- Place paper pad under hips.
- Put on the gloves if this is not a self catheterization.
- Pour the Betadine onto the cotton balls
- Remove the plastic cover from the catheter (be careful not to touch the catheter tube) & squirt the lubricating jelly onto the catheter.
- Remove the rubber cap from the syringe with the water in it.
- Connect the end of the catheter to the drainage bag
10. Choose your "clean" and "dirty" hand.
Whatever hand comes in contact with the body, the one that holds the penis, is dirty. The one that touches the catheter supplies is clean. Never mix clean and dirty hands in regard to the catheter supplies. It is important that this procedure stay "super clean" so as not to allow germs to enter the bladder.
11. Hold the penis.
Remember, the hand touching the body will now be the dirty hand.
12. Clean urinary opening on penis
- Use clean hand to touch items in the kit
- Clean penis with the cotton balls soaked in Betadine.
- Use 1 cotton ball per wipe.
- Always wipe from the tip of the penis toward the shaft of the penis.
- Never re-use a cotton ball.
13. Insert the catheter slowly and gently into the urinary opening on the penis.
14. See the urine flow into the catheter
Continue to insert the catheter until the "Y" pigtail section of the catheter becomes very close to the end of the penis.
15. Blow up the balloon
While holding the catheter in place, attach the pre-filled syringe in the kit to the "Y" pigtail port and insert all of the water from the syringe.
If it is easier, you can attach the syringe before you insert the catheter so it is ready when you need it. Do not blow up the balloon until the catheter is in and you see urine flowing.
Below is a picture of a catheter with an inflated balloon...this is what it would look like inside the bladder
16. Wash off the extra Betadine from the penis.
17. Always hang/attach the drainage bag to chair/bed frame below the level of the penis.
This will allow for the best drainage.
18. Consider wearing a leg strap.
The leg strap attaches the catheter to the inner thigh. It helps to keep the catheter secure.
19. If wearing a leg bag, always wear it below the knee.
Real Questions from Real People
1. How often does the catheter need to be changed?
Catheters can stay in for about a month as long as it is not leaking or having crusty areas around it near the urethral opening. You should wash the urinary opening at least twice a day while the catheter is in place. Change the catheter by the schedule given to you by your doctor.
2. Should I save anything from the catheter kit incase problems arise with the catheter?
Yes. Save the syringe so you can deflate the balloon when the catheter needs to be removed.
3. What if touch the catheter with my dirty hand or I drop the catheter on the floor before I have it safely inserted?
Stop and get another catheter or kit. It is important that germs do not enter the bladder during this procedure.
4. What if I have spasms while the catheter is being inserted?
Stop and wait for the spasm to pass; then continue with the insertion.
5. What if the catheter will not go in easily or I feel like I meet resistance when inserting it?
Do not force the catheter in. Call the doctor for further advice.