suprapubic catheterWhat is a SupraPubic Catheter?

Most everyone knows what a “Catheter” is, however many people don’t know what a suprapubic catheter is as they have not always been used in patients. The most common type of catheter is the Foley catheter; however the SupraPubic is a bit different. First let’s dissect the word in medical terms, Supra means “above” and Pubic, well just means pubic, so the term SupraPubic means “Above the Pubic”, so in normal terms a “SupraPubic Catheter” is a catheter that is inserted into the bladder right above the pubic region.

How is the Catheter Inserted?

Your doctor will insert the catheter normally during a larger operation while the patient is under general anesthesia; however it is possible that if the specific procedure is to JUST insert the procedure then you are able to get a local anesthetic for the procedure.

The physician will insert the catheter through the abdomen wall just above the pubic area. The doctor will guide the catheter into the bladder using the assistance of an ultra sound.

Why is it Needed?

If you are unable to manually expel urine then you will require a catheter to aid in the process. There are several different types of catheters currently on the market and a supra pubic catheter is normally used in the following circumstances:

  • Lower Risk of Infection (more important in women)
  • More comfortable than other catheters
  • Sexually Active Patients
  • Changing your Catheter

When you change your catheter will vary depending upon your level of activity, bladder size, and other conditions. The first catheter is normally changed out around 5 weeks after it was put in, and then followed up on average every 8-10 weeks thereafter.

Are there Complications to Expect with a SupraPubic Catheter?

A catheter is a medical procedure and there is always some sort of risk associated with a medical procedure, however these risk are normally very minimal. Below are some of the most common risk associated with this type of catheter:

  • Bladder Infection (most common complication)
  • Discomfort and Slight Pain during Catheter insertion
  • Overall Infections and Fevers
  • Urine Drainage Blockage (Watch to ensure urine is constantly draining
  • Blood in your urine
  • Urine Leaking around the catheter insertion point
  • Catheter dislodging and falling out

Many of these complications are common and are not serious, however if you experience any of these complications make an appointment with your physician immediately, if it is after office hours, please visit your local emergency room.

Can I still be intimate with my partner with a Catheter?

Sexual intercourse should not pose a problem with patients who have a this particular catheter, as it is inserted above the pubic region. This is one of the main reasons SupraPubic catheters are used, to ensure patients are able to live as normal of a life as possible.

While suprapubic catheters are becoming more and more popular in the medical field, make sure you consult with your physician about your options and which type of catheter will fit your lifestyle the best.

Additional News and References:
catheter removal
adult catheter insertion