Why are Urinary Catheters Used?

10 May
2017

We all empty the bladder and relieve ourselves as and when nature calls. This is quite natural and is a sign of being healthy. At times, some people find themselves unable to do this all-important and natural activity on their own as they fail, or find it difficult to empty their bladder. And when the bladder isn’t emptied, urine continues to store and build up causing pressure in the kidneys.

Thus not emptying the bladder can lead to a lot of pressure in the kidney, which can cause kidney failure in most cases, if not treated in timely manner. This is one of major reasons of permanent damage to the kidney. In such conditions, doctors have no choice but to use catheters to help patients out of the trouble. This is how urine is collected and drained out of the bladder.

These catheters are basically hollow and partially flexible tubes which are used in cases when patients have lost the ability, temporarily though, to urinate on own. A male urinary catheter is used until the ability to urinate by oneself is restored. These tubes can be used either for short or long period of times, depending on the nature and severity of the problems.

When catheters are used?

We know catheters are used to help patients regain their ability to urinate on their own. They also become important in cases where patients are unable to control when to urinate. For those who are either leaking urine or facing problems in emptying the bladder, nothing helps as much as catheters.

Here are some of reasons why and when doctors generally recommend the use of catheters –

  • In cases when patients have undergone surgery on their prostate gland
  • When someone has been operated upon in the genital area
  • In cases patients face some kind of spinal injury
  • When the nerves of the bladder are injured
  • Also recommended in cases when someone’s mental function is impaired
  • When the bladder muscles are not able to squeeze causing urine to store in the bladder
  • When kidney or bladder stones lead to the blocking of urine flow
  • In cases where blood clots in the urine have blocked the urine flow
  • And when the urine flow is hampered due to enlargement of the prostate gland

Potential complications of urinary catheters

A male urinary catheter is used in cases when someone has lost ability to urinate on their own. Catheters however may lead to some complications, if not used with care. That’s why you should consult a specialist when it comes to the use and proper care of catheters.

Here are some of potential complications –

  • May lead to urinary tract infections if not cleaned properly
  • May lead to bladder stones, or can cause blood in the urine
  • The material used in them might cause an allergic reaction
  • Injury to the urethra and kidney damage are two other likely complications in the long run
  • Can cause infection of the kidney or blood
  • May lead to constant low-back pain and aches