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Thread: Questions about Foleys

  1. #1

    Questions about Foleys

    I've been getting intermittently cathed for years, but I'm starting a new job and this will no longer be an option since I'll be without a caregiver. My uro wants me to use a foley only while at work so I'll be putting in and taking one out 5 days a week.

    Here are my questions:
    1. I don't want to have to use a new insertion tray everyday so what are my options? I have sterile water but not sterile containers to suck the water into the syringe.
    2. Are the cheap silicone coated latex catheters okay to use?
    3. Any recommendations on discrete large volume leg bags?

    Plus anything else I should know since my experience with Foleys is very limited.

    By the way I'm an incomplete C2. Lots of arm and hand movement but everything is affected to some degree.

  2. #2
    The problem with leaving in a foley is the potential of tearing the penis. No matter how careful you are this is a real problem. I found out the hard way and ended up with a supra pubic after a bad tear. With no feeling, the cath got caught and ripped the side out causing a horrific amount blood is how I discovered the problem. I do not recommend using a foley at all. To much UTI from have it in at all and the potential for problem makes the worse option of both of both worlds for some convenience believe me. Try to find a way to stay intermittent at work.
    T6 complete

  3. #3
    Sterile insertion trays and foley catheters are expensive. Roughly speaking you are going to pay $4-$6 for the trays and $7-$12 for the foley catheters, that is per day for 5 days a week, for 48-50 weeks a year, plus the leg bags. The cost of this method of managing your bladder is to say the least, high. I don't think you will get any insurance company to cover these costs.

    Putting the costs aside, wearing a foley catheter long term can cause urethral erosion.

    How old are you? How long have you been injured?

    It would not be unusual at all for a person injured at c2 to have a suprapubic catheter. It is a simple community medical facility procedure that takes less than 15 minutes. Generally, the catheters are changed once a month and the leg bags 1-2 times a month. Couple using a suprapubic catheter with daily Vetericyn instillations to help prevent bladder colonization and urinary tract infections, and I think you will have a satisfactory method of bladder management to accommodate your work schedule.

    All the best,
    Last edited by gjnl; 04-09-2013 at 04:28 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Vancouver WA USA - - Male T4 ASIA B incomplete
    I insert a Foley cath every night before bed and remove it every morning so I don't have to cath throughout the night. I reuse the flush syringe with the 0.9% sodium chloride solution, other than that I treat it just like intermittent cathing. Admittedly I'm new to this SCI thing and have only been doing this for 5 years with no problems whatsoever. Very occasionally I'll use a foley during the day, for instance while sit-sking, flying, or if I know I'm going to a social event where I know I won't be able to access facilities. Worst problem I've had with leg bags is when the joint between the foley and the bag came detached, after that happens you triple check the connection on a regular basis and make sure none of the tubing is folded. I also have to add a little extra lube to the tip of the penis throughout the day so it doesn't dry out, and it allows the foley tube to slide in and out a little as things move around, if you know what I mean. From my point of view foleys make my life just a little easier and are just another option, I'm glad I tried them, haven't looked back.

    When I was first injured I would intermittent cath an average of 400cc with the occasional 1000cc. Which is pretty much what I do now, the 1000cc are rarer as I can read my body much better now.

    My first spinal doctor was super cool, so wish I still had him.

  5. #5
    Thanks for all the feedback.

    I'm in my mid twenties and my accident was over 12 years ago.

    A suprapubic will probably be inevitable at some point, but for the time being I'm trying to limit extra holes in my body.

    As far a costs go a new indwelling from allagro is less than $2 if I can just manage without using a new insertion kit every time I should be fine. Honestly it's still cheaper than the closed system I normally use.

    I do have pretty frequent UTIs(every 6 months - 1 year) and that's why my urologist wants me to use the foley only while working. Also I will definitely be using a new one everyday.

    Again thanks for all the great info so far.

  6. #6
    I agree about the frequent UTIs and limiting the number of catheterizations per day.

    I think all of the above comments give you the opportunity to develop a pros and cons list to make a decision that work best for you and your quality of life.


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