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Urinary Catheter Removal Instructions

Removing the Catheter


It is very important to remove the water from the balloon by either using a syringe in the valve or simply by cutting the stem off the catheter. This will make the balloon leak out the saline that is in it and it will collapse. Then the catheter actually should slide out with ease. Sometimes this cannot be done because the tube that connects from the port to the balloon is blocked or the tip of the Foley catheter is calcified so badly it cannot be removed easily. A urologist would normally need to deal with this situation.


It is very important for the patient to not pull on the catheter. This will pull out the balloon with the catheter and cause severe damage to the prostate and urethra; so much that nurses may not be able to replace it themselves. It will take an appointment with the urologist to get the patient under local anesthesia or general anesthesia.

Most Foley catheters should be exchanged in about fifteen days. Most of them will cause colonization of the bladder with bacteria. These sometimes will be very serious infections. The best way to prevent that is to clean the area where the Foley catheter enters the skin with plain soap and water 2-3 times a day. This has been known to prevent infections in the Foley catheter.