Voiding with a catheter

Indications for catheterization:
Persistent, recurrent, postvoid residual urine and/or inability to empty bladder.

Emptying the bladder completely is essential to avoid upper urinary tract and renal function impairment, as well as to prevent UTIs


Several patients (and also caregivers) may be concerned about inserting a catheter several times a day, because of potential complications. It is effective and safe in short and long-term use. Traumas are extremely rare (1-5%) and recurrent UTIs, even if frequent in 42-76% of cases, are mostly uneventful. Thus, patients learn to live together with asymptomatic bacteriuria, often without antibiotic prophylaxis, but they need accurate follow-up and eventual therapy of acute or chronic symptomatic UTIs.

Children with neurogenic diseases affecting the bladder (who have difficulty to void due to lack of innervation), and children with anatomical malformation of the lower urinary tract and/or of the pelvic floor who received extensive reconstruction surgery, may need a catheter to empty their bladder.

The above condition is rare, but those children need assistance for long periods or time, mostly long-life.

For children with functional bladder dysfunction and persistent urinary retention as well as failed conservative management and pharmacotherapy, catheterization has been proven successful for bladder emptying.

Lower urinary tract disorders | 3. Master the treatment of LUTD
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