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Thread: Suprapubic catheter problem (kind of gross)

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Ishpeming, MI, USA

    Suprapubic catheter problem (kind of gross)

    I've had a suprapubic catheter for about a year now, and for the most part it works well. An occasional problem crops up though, and I'm wondering if others have experienced this. I sometimes get a white discharge through the tube, similar to mucus. At times it has been thick enough to plug the tube. I've got a special syringe from my doctor to suction the crud out, and I've had to use it a few times. I've had 3 or 4 minor bladder infections, but this gunk doesn't correspond with the infections. It just seems to come and go about once a week or so. My urologist doesn't seem concerned, but he has little experience with quadraplegics. Is this normal, or is it something I should worry about?

  2. #2
    I have had my SP for about three years. It used to have quite a bit of sediment until I upped my fluid intake. Helps to drink a lot and flush it out.

  3. #3
    The presence of the tube inside the bladder is an irritant to the bladder lining and the discharge is dead cells and mucuous that result from the sloughing process (flaking off) that result from the irritation. That's why it doesn't have to correlate with signs/symptoms of UTI. I hated seeing it when I had a Foley, but my MD (good urologist) explained it that way. As was said, pump the fluids to keep the concentration down so it won't plug the cath.

  4. #4
    If any of us examined everything that comes out of our bladders, we would be surprised. But, because our urine goes into the toilet, we don't realize the sediment which might be there. You are correct. Any kind of tube in the bladder causes irritation. And after that irritation heals, the surface cells slough off. Because the dead cells are full of water, they take on a white appearance. These cells do have the potential of plugging catheters, so the increase in fluids will help things flow freely. (EMK)

  5. #5
    Senior Member BJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Denver, CO USA

    Suprapubic Cath problems

    Hubby has had his supertube for 30 years. As long as at least 1/2 to 1 gal of water go in every day he has no gunk coming out. Also has has no infections in those 30 years too. Occasionally has plugging problems if he drinks high mineral water and softened water. Since our water is high in minerals he only drinks distilled and since that switch the caths can last 4-8 weeks.

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