Hi to all what's an indwelling catheter.

Hi to all, I have been bk to see urologist miss Reid and she has put me Back on meds for overactive bladder which are working ok she Says I might need an indwelling catheter that stays in all The time does anyone have one @t all. Are they easy to use I am constantly in the loo weeing All the time it’s right annoying. I don’t know weather to try one or not what do you think of The idea??? Dolphin_500

Hello Dophin

It depends whether your doctor is talking about a Supra Pubic Catheter (SPC) or a Foley Catheter.

Either type is a tube that is held in place within your bladder by an inflatable balloon. You can’t feel the catheter or the balloon while it’s in your bladder.

The tube goes to a urine collection bag. Most people use what is known as a leg bag (although sometimes people don’t attach it to their leg, they might put the bag inside another cloth bag and hang it on their wheelchair). It is generally strapped to your leg. It has a tap on the end which allows the bag to be emptied several times a day. The leg bag holds about 500 millilitres.

At night, the leg bag is normally attached to a night bag which can hold 2 litres of wee. It’s great that you can then sleep all night without having to get up for a wee, or wear continence pants.

In both types of catheter, the actual tube that enters your bladder is changed every so many weeks (between 4 and 12 depending on you).

The difference between the two types of indwelling catheter is that a Foley Catheter goes into your bladder through the urethra so it’s not a surgical process. Wheras a Supra Pubic Catheter is passed into the bladder through a surgical procedure, ie it goes straight through your abdomen into the bladder. This is usually done under a general anaesthetic. It’s still reversible very easily.

Lots of people have one or the other type. I had an SPC but it wasn’t ideal for me so I had it reversed (pretty much just had the balloon deflated and the catheter pulled out, the hole was then covered with a dressing for a few weeks while the hole closed up). I went back to Intermittent Self Catheterisation, where I insert catheters through the urethra several times a day to empty my bladder.


Hi Sue, Thank you for the info I will bear this in mind if I do have to have one. Dolphin_500.