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Thread: Long term foley use

  1. #1
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    Long term foley use

    I have been thinking about going back to using a foley catheter regularly. I have difficultly doing IC and I have to do it laying down. I was using a foley when I first moved out on my own and now I only use it when I will be out awhile. I have had reoccurring bladder stones and I really believe it's from my urine being in my bladder for awhile. I have a bad tendency to wait until I feel my bladder is full before I IC becasue I hate doing it. I don't want to look into a SP catheter or any other major procedure to make it easier for me to cath. I know the risks of bladder stones, cancer and bladder shrinkage with foley catheters, but I have routine test of my bladder and kidneys. Is there more of a risk of infections with a foley? I would think there would be more of a risk of infection doing IC in several times a day. If I use a foley, how often should I change it?

  2. #2
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    I absolutely hate my foley and can't wait to get rid of it (expecting surgery before the end of the year). It has caused infection after infection after infection and the darn thing leaks anyway.

    I have no other choice until my bladder is re-suspended from a fall I took last year ... but I just may burn the thing.

    Sometimes I end up having to change it once a week but I try to go three if I can.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  3. #3
    Hello "faith9778,"
    Supra pubic catheter (SPC) surgery is not in any way a major surgery, when compared to the alternatives of mitrofanoff and "chimney" procedures. SPC is considered a community medicine/hospital surgery that any urologist is more than capable and qualified to perform. When I had my SPC placed, I was in outpatient hospital for less than 8 hours. SPC placement is often done short term in the able-bodied population for a number of bladder issues. It is a reversible procedure, although the bladder may shrink over time and bladder capacity can be re-established or bladder augmentation can be performed. Bladder capacity will also be compromised with an indwelling foley catheter.

    If you are considering an indwelling foley, you have already bought in to wearing a leg bag, and I believe that a SPC is really easier and has less risk than an indwelling foley.

    I would encourage you to look into the various threads on CCC that discuss the use of Vetericyn/Microcyn:

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=133414

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=143797

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=149966

    Also try searching CCC for supra pubic catheter to get more information and feedback from members who are managing their bladders with SPC.

    All the best,
    GJ

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Hello "faith9778,"
    Supra pubic catheter (SPC) surgery is not in any way a major surgery, when compared to the alternatives of mitrofanoff and "chimney" procedures. SPC is considered a community medicine/hospital surgery that any urologist is more than capable and qualified to perform. When I had my SPC placed, I was in outpatient hospital for less than 8 hours. SPC placement is often done short term in the able-bodied population for a number of bladder issues. It is a reversible procedure, although the bladder may shrink over time and bladder capacity can be re-established or bladder augmentation can be performed. Bladder capacity will also be compromised with an indwelling foley catheter.

    If you are considering an indwelling foley, you have already bought in to wearing a leg bag, and I believe that a SPC is really easier and has less risk than an indwelling foley.

    I would encourage you to look into the various threads on CCC that discuss the use of Vetericyn/Microcyn:

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=133414

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=143797

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=149966

    Also try searching CCC for supra pubic catheter to get more information and feedback from members who are managing their bladders with SPC.

    All the best,
    GJ
    I have had three experiences with a SPC from when I had bladder surgeries. I hated it. It was painly especially when it would pull or tug on something. It would get clogged up often. I still have that problem sometimes with IC, but not as bad. And the location of it was right where my stomach overlaps and touches my leg. This would cause constant pain from the pressure if it being in that area. I also haven't experience many infections when using the foley catheter.

  5. #5
    Like you I have to lie down to do IC so gave it up a few years ago as it dominated my life completely. I couldn't go anywhere for more than a couple of hours.
    I have found the foley to be fine for me (ok, I hate the leg bag but at least I am not tied to the house) - I change it about every 4 weeks. Infections have been very rare - maybe one about 2 years ago. I drink about 2-3 litres a day - combination of tea, water, cranberry juice (glass of red wine in the evening too).
    I have come to the conclusion that each of us has to decide what is the best method for bladder care. There will always be pros and cons - just do what makes you feel most comfortable. No point getting stress or pain more than necessary.

  6. #6
    Hi "faith9778,"

    Sorry you have not had good luck with supra pubic catheters. For me they were a life saver and have really enhanced my quality of life over intermittent catheterization and indwelling foley. But, each of us does have to find the right solution for ourselves.

    All the best,
    GJ

  7. #7
    Hi,

    Foley catheters do have a greater risk of infections (CAUTI- catheter acquired urinary tract infections) than IC. You can search this for yourself. This is mainly due to the foreign body being directly into your bladder.

    The good thing about using a foley for now is that you could try it and always go back to IC if infections are more frequent. Of course, your bladder stones also put you at a greater risk for infection.

    Re how often to change foley, it is usually every 30 days, though depending on the amount of sedimentation it could be more or less often.

    The amount of infects are variable as well, as i know some people who have a chronic foley cath and don't get infections. Good handwashing and technique ( as with IC's) can help reduce infections.

    However I agree with the above that everyone has to make their own choice based on their lifestyle, dexterity,etc.

    AAD

  8. #8
    Some people definitely can tolerate a SP, and others for many reasons can't, but luckily it has made my urinary life much better. I can still work out at the gym, work and motorcycle ride. The biggest thing, for me anyway, is having to drink and empty often. Hygiene is very important as well for those of us with a Foley as we all know too well. There are a few options for urinary care, the hard part is finding the one that suits us best.

  9. #9
    faith, I've used a Foley for six years. I had problems with infections early on but haven't had an infection in the last 3.5 years.

    I definitely prefer this method of bladder management and have no interest in getting a suprapubic -- the thought of having a stoma in or very near the pubic hair line and a catheter protruding from that spot skeeves me out; the extra outlet means there are two places I could leak from instead of just one; and having only two minutes to insert a new cath during changes scares me.

    Give the Foley a try, Faith. It's very easy to stop using it if it doesn't work out.

    ETA: My cath is changed every three weeks unless I feel irritation of the bladder or urethra, at which point we change it immediately. This happens 2-3 times a year.
    Last edited by thehipcrip; 10-16-2011 at 08:32 PM.
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by faith9778 View Post
    I have been thinking about going back to using a foley catheter regularly. I have difficultly doing IC and I have to do it laying down. I was using a foley when I first moved out on my own and now I only use it when I will be out awhile. ....<snip>

    Is there more of a risk of infections with a foley? I would think there would be more of a risk of infection doing IC in several times a day. If I use a foley, how often should I change it?
    You said on more than one occasion that for years you've mostly used a foley... so again, based on your own experience, you can easily answer your own questions -

    When you wore a foley,
    - what was the frequency of your infections?
    - how does that compare to when you IC'd?

    So, what has your Uro said about wearing a foley and your bladder, especially given your issues and having had an augment?

    Since you've been dealing with a neurogenic bladder since birth and having dealt with various management methods for a very long time, I bet you can give many of us some insight about what has worked/not worked, including what your uros have said about them.

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