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A urinary catheter may be used before, during or after surgery for a variety of reasons.There is no exact time limit, but surgery lasting less than an hour will probably not require the use of a urinary catheter.
Catheter During Surgery
Using a urinary catheter during surgery allows the health care professional to monitor the amount of urine being produced. It also reduces the risk of a distended bladder, which could increase the patient’s blood pressure or heart rate. The catheter may cause discomfort to the patient after awaking from anesthesia.
Catheter After Surgery
Usually, the urinary catheter can be removed shortly after surgery. Prostate or gynecological surgery, though, will almost always require a urinary catheter after surgery. The three most common types of catheters are indwelling, intermittent and external.
Intermittent catheters are temporary catheters that patients usually insert themselves. They are the preferred urinary catheter because studies have shown that they reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. Surgery that has affected a patient’s hand mobility will make intermittent catheterization difficult.
Read more about intermittent catheters
Indwelling catheters, or Foley catheters, are long-term catheters that usually stay in the bladder for one month before being removed. They are ideal for patients who have had surgery that impairs their ability to catheterize themselves. Foley catheters are very common after surgery on the prostate or bladder in order to wash away blood clots and blood.
Read more about indwelling catheters
External catheters are temporary catheters that are usually changed once a week. A male external catheter, or Texas catheter, is placed over the penis like a condom. A female external catheter is a urinary pouch that is taped or strapped over the vagina.
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