3 Ways to Remove the Catheter

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3 Ways to Remove the Catheter
3 Ways to Remove the Catheter

A urinary catheter, or Foley catheter, is a thin, flexible tube used to drain urine directly from the bladder into a small bag outside the body. Removing the catheter is a fairly simple procedure. Most people find it difficult to remove the catheter on their own. However, if you experience significant discomfort, remember to contact your healthcare provider immediately.


Method 1 of 3: Removing the Urinary Catheter

Remove a Catheter Step 1
Remove a Catheter Step 1

Step 1. Wash your hands with soap and warm water

Make sure you lather your hands and arms well, and rub them for at least 20 seconds. This is about as long as it takes to sing the song you hear often, "Happy Birthday." Continue by rinsing it clean.

  • Perform the same hand washing procedure after removing the catheter.
  • Dry your hands with a paper towel and throw the paper towel away. It's a good idea to have a trash can near you. You will need a trash can to dispose of the catheter.
Remove a Catheter Step 2
Remove a Catheter Step 2

Step 2. Remove any urine in the catheter bag to make it easier for you to remove the catheter

Catheter bags usually have a drain funnel in the form of a removable cover, a clamp that opens to the side, or a flap that can be swiveled. Dispose of any urine in the catheter bag into the toilet. You can also throw it in a measuring container if your doctor is monitoring your urine output.

  • Once the bag is emptied, close the clamp or tighten the lid to prevent urine from dripping.
  • If your urine is cloudy, foul-smelling, or reddish in color, call your healthcare provider.
Remove a Catheter Step 3
Remove a Catheter Step 3

Step 3. Get into a comfortable position to remove the catheter

You need to remove your clothes from the waist down. The best position to remove the catheter is to lie on your back with your feet wide apart and your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

  • You can also lie in the “butterfly” position. Lie down with your knees apart but your feet close together.
  • Lying on your back will also relax the urethra and bladder muscles making it easier for you to remove the catheter.
Remove a Catheter Step 4
Remove a Catheter Step 4

Step 4. Put on gloves and clean the catheter tube

Wearing gloves is very important to reduce the risk of infection. After the gloves are put on, use an alcohol swab to clean the area where the catheter is in contact with the tube. You should also clean the entire catheter.

  • If you are a man, use a saline solution (salt water) to clean the urinary opening on the penis.
  • If you are female, use a saline solution to clean the area around the labia and urethral opening. Start cleaning from the urethra and then move outward to avoid spreading bacteria.
Remove a Catheter Step 5
Remove a Catheter Step 5

Step 5. Locate the end of the tube that connects to the balloon port

The catheter tube has two ends. One end serves to drain urine into the catheter bag. The other end of the tube is used to deflate the small balloon filled with water that holds the catheter in the bladder.

  • The end of the hose that connects to the balloon has a colored cap on the end.
  • You can also see the numbers printed on the end of the hose.
Remove a Catheter Step 6
Remove a Catheter Step 6

Step 6. Deflate the catheter balloon

The small balloon in the tube in the bladder must be drained, or deflated, so that the catheter can be removed. Your healthcare provider should provide you with a small (10 ml) syringe. The syringe must be of the correct size to fit into the end of the tube that connects to the balloon. Insert the syringe in a steady pushing and twisting motion.

  • Pull the syringe slowly and carefully away from the end of the tube. The vacuum effect will suck water from the balloon in the bladder.
  • Continue sucking until the syringe is full. This indicates that the balloon has been emptied and the catheter is ready to be removed.
  • Do not pump air or liquid back into the balloon, as this may burst the balloon and injure your bladder.
  • Always make sure that the amount of fluid aspirated from the tip of the balloon equals the amount of fluid that was introduced before you attempt to remove the catheter. If you are unable to suck up some of the liquid, seek help from a professional practitioner.
Remove a Catheter Step 7
Remove a Catheter Step 7

Step 7. Remove the catheter

If possible, secure the catheter tube with an artery clamp or rubber band to prevent urine from flowing out of the catheter when you remove it. After that, slowly pull the catheter out of the urethra. The catheter tube will come out easily.

  • If you feel any resistance, there is a good chance that there is still water in the catheter balloon. If this is the case, you will need to insert the syringe back into the end of the balloon hose and remove any excess water from the balloon as you did in the previous step.
  • Men may feel a stinging sensation when the tube is removed from the urethra. This is normal and should not cause any problems.
  • Some people claim that smoothing the catheter with KY jelly will help the process of removing the catheter tube.
Remove a Catheter Step 8
Remove a Catheter Step 8

Step 8. Check the catheter tube to make sure it is intact

If the catheter appears damaged or ruptured, there may be a piece of tube left in your urinary tract. If this happens, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

  • If this happens, do not dispose of the catheter. Keep it checked by your healthcare provider.
  • To dispose of the syringe, separate the piston from the tube/body. Dispose of both in a "sharps" disposal container, such as an empty detergent holder. Each country has different regulations on the disposal of syringes. Unless you use the syringe frequently, return the syringe to your healthcare provider's office at your next visit. They know the best way to dispose of your syringe.
Remove a Catheter Step 9
Remove a Catheter Step 9

Step 9. Dispose of the used catheter and urine bag

After removing the catheter, place the catheter in a plastic bag. Tie the bag tightly, then dispose of the bag with other household waste.

  • Clean the area where the catheter was placed with a saline solution. If there is pus or blood in the area, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Remove gloves and wash your hands when finished.
  • To relieve pain, you can apply a small amount of lidocaine gel to the area around the urethra.

Method 2 of 3: Making Sure You Stay Healthy After the Catheter Is Removed

Remove a Catheter Step 10
Remove a Catheter Step 10

Step 1. Check for signs of inflammation or infection

Signs of infection include redness, swelling, or pus around the area where the catheter was inserted. Fever can also indicate an infection.

  • Always rinse the area with warm salt water. Shower and wash your intimate area as usual. While you may not be allowed to bathe while the catheter is in place, showering is OK. Now that the catheter is removed, you can take a bath.
  • Your urine should be clear or light yellow in color. Pink urine is also normal for the first 24-48 hours after the catheter is removed, because small amounts of blood may have entered the urinary tract. Dark red urine is a sign of blood, and foul-smelling or cloudy urine indicates an infection. If you see any of these signs, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • You may experience a slight rash in the area where the catheter was inserted. Cotton underwear will provide good air circulation to the area and help with recovery.
Remove a Catheter Step 11
Remove a Catheter Step 11

Step 2. Record the number of times you urinate

After the catheter is removed, it is very important to monitor your voiding pattern. If you have not urinated within 4 hours of having the catheter removed, contact your healthcare provider.

  • A slightly irregular pattern of urination after the catheter is removed is normal. Generally, you will feel the need to urinate more often than usual.
  • You may experience some discomfort when urinating. If discomfort persists more than 24-48 hours after the catheter is removed, this may indicate an infection.
  • You may also have difficulty controlling urine output. This is not unusual. Keep a record of events that come to your attention and ask your healthcare provider about these at your next visit.
  • Keep a diary of your voiding patterns to help your doctor determine if other steps are necessary for you to make a full recovery.
Remove a Catheter Step 12
Remove a Catheter Step 12

Step 3. Drink plenty of water

Drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day will help restore your urinary tract. Drinking plenty of water can help increase the volume of urine, as well as flush out bacteria or microorganisms from the bladder and urethra.

  • Avoid drinks that contain caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic that will shed water and salt that the body needs.
  • Limit your fluid intake after 6pm. Drinking too much water after 6pm can wake you up during the night.
  • Elevate your feet when sitting, especially in the afternoon.

Method 3 of 3: Knowing Why the Catheter Was Removed

Remove a Catheter Step 13
Remove a Catheter Step 13

Step 1. Remove the catheter permanently after its use is complete

Urinary catheters are used temporarily while undergoing various surgical procedures. Once you've recovered from surgery, or the obstruction has been removed, you won't need a catheter anymore.

  • For example, if you have prostate surgery, you will generally have a removable catheter placed 10-14 days after surgery.
  • Follow your healthcare provider's postoperative guidelines and recommendations. These guidelines and recommendations will be tailored to your health condition.
Remove a Catheter Step 14
Remove a Catheter Step 14

Step 2. Change the catheter regularly if you need to use the catheter for a long period of time

The catheter will only need to be replaced if you are unable to empty your bladder independently. People who are catheterized because of an illness or chronic incontinence (a condition in which a person has problems holding urine) due to an injury may need to have a catheter in place for a long time.

For example, if you have a spinal cord injury that causes you to suffer from incontinence, you will need a catheter for a long period of time. Replace the catheter with a new one every 14 days

Remove a Catheter Step 15
Remove a Catheter Step 15

Step 3. Remove the catheter if it starts to show unwanted side effects

Some people experience complications when using a catheter. One of the most common negative side effects is urinary tract infection. If you notice pus near your urethra, or your urine is cloudy, bloody, or smells bad, you may have a urinary tract infection. The catheter should be removed and you should talk to your doctor about how to treat a urinary tract infection.

  • You'll also likely notice urine, in large amounts, coming out of the tube around the catheter. If you see this problem, remove the catheter. Most likely the catheter is damaged / defective.
  • If there is no urine flowing through the catheter tube, there may be a blockage in the device. If this happens, the catheter should be removed immediately and you should see a doctor immediately.


  • If your type of catheter is a central venous catheter or a peripheral venous catheter, it should only be removed by a trained physician. Attempting to remove the catheter yourself can have very dangerous consequences.
  • Go to the emergency department at a hospital or the nearest emergency service provider if you notice any of the following signs: You feel like you need to urinate but can't. If you have severe back pain, or abdominal swelling. If you have a fever with a temperature of 37.8 degrees or more. If you experience nausea and vomiting.

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