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Thread: Drink lots of water/liquids to flush out your bladder, with a Foley/SP catheter??

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rollin Rick's Avatar
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    Question Drink lots of water/liquids to flush out your bladder, with a Foley/SP catheter??

    How can drinking plenty of liquids for people with Foley catheters able to flush the bladder when it's nothing but a direct/constant free flow draining? The bladder does not even fill up with even a dribble of urine? All of that bacteria , the bad of course, is just sticking to the surrounding walls of the bladder with no flushing action..... can someone straighten me on this one?

  2. #2
    From your kidneys you have 2 tubes going into your bladder called ureters. Then once in your bladder the urine leaves it by the urethra and exits the body. The catheter goes through the urethra into the bladder. So what is my point Basically your 2 ureters are "flushing" the bladder walls when the carry urine into the bladder. Urine runs down the walls into the bottom of the bladder. Catheters often leave a small amount of urine in the bladder either due to positioning of the catheter (especially if you are in bed) and the end of the catheter actually sticks "up" in the bladder about an inch or two from the balloon of the catheter which is positioned in the bottom front of the bladder.

    This natural process washes bacteria out of our urinary tracts. Men have longer urethras and our anatomy keeps our meatus away from bacteria better than women's. Women have to wipe from front to back to keep germs from the anal area entering the vaginal area along with the meatus. Guys dont have to do this.

    Back to the original subject though! Inside the catheter you also have bacteria trying to inch their way up into the bladder, the more water that flows through this, the more the bacteria get flushed back down. Of course there isnt anything you can do around the outside of the catheter which is why you are more prone to get an infection.

  3. #3
    Hi Rollin Rick,

    If you look at the end of a Foley Catheter you have the size of the balloon plus a small amount of catheter above it where the drainage holes are. So all that area of the Foley which is located at the bottom or neck of your bladder below the Foley drainage holes never gets totally drained. I think that's one reason why people with Foleys get as many bladder infections as they do. It's a small stagnant pocket of urine and sediment etc that just sets there as a brewery for bacteria since it never gets fully flushed out.

    I don't use a Foley. I intermittetly catheterize so I'm no expert at this but don't some or most people clamp off their Foley catheter so their bladder can accumulate and retain a normal amount of urine like between 400-500ccs to keep their bladder from shrinking up? And then release the clamp and drain it.

    If this was done with about 400-500ccs of urine in you, just prior to draining your bladder you could move around side to side or lay down and roll over or push gently on your bladder area or whatever to mix all the contents of the bladder (the upper clear urine and bottom sediment filled area) together thereby getting rid of some of the bottom sediment. Unless the sediment floats gravity will naturally pull the heavier than water/urine sediment downwards.

    That's how it seems to me but I may be way off base here. The Nurse or someone with Foley experience will know the answer to your question.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  4. #4
    Clamping catheters is potentially very dangerous. Those who have used them for a long time have a shrunken bladder (it is very rare that the bladder is completely empty though). Clamping could increase pressure and cause reflux of colonized urine up to the kidney, causing a kidney infection. It can also cause very severe autonomic dysreflexia.

    The concentration of bacteria in the urine is a major factor in whether or not they can cause an infection. Increasing fluids not only flushes bacteria out of the bladder, it keeps the concentration of bacteria (number per ml.) low, which reduces the risk that you will move from colonization to true infection.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    That is what I use is a folly catheter. Thats what the rehab I was at sent me home with it. I cannot count the infections and kidney stones I have had.. And my bladder has shurnk. I tried intermtting, But I would leak and be wet. A doctor told me of the inplanr of a larger bladder. Or mabybe an exernal bladder like a bag. Is that worse that a folry?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rollin Rick's Avatar
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    Kld,

    how about pressure lowering meds so we can clamp the catheter? It would be basically the same as people who do intermittent catheterization, wouldn't it be? This would be ideal if your bladder did not shrink much yet. Hmmm, I really like that idea

  7. #7
    Medications can only help with high pressures caused by active bladder muscle contraction/spasm. Much of the high pressure generated by clamping a catheter in someone who has a long term indwelling catheter is due to the anatomic/structural shrinkage and loss of elasticity of the bladder. The bladder wall becomes contracted, much the same as a spastic arm muscle that is not ranged. We can see under a microscope that much of the muscle becomes replaced with non-stretchable collegen fibers. After a while, you can no longer stretch it out without causing excessive pressure, AD and leakage.

    The "stretchability" of your bladder is called "compliance" by urologists and is related to but not the same as the pressure. In order to increase compliance with a contracted bladder, you would need to add tissue, which is what is done in an augmentation.

    (KLD)

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