Suprapubic catheter

A type of urethra catheter

A suprapubic catheter is a thin tube used to drain urine from the bladder

What is a suprapubic catheter?

A suprapubic catheter is a thin, flexible tube used to drain urine from your bladder. They're normally fitted for people who cannot empty their bladder properly due to a damaged or blocked urethra. We'll insert the catheter during a surgical procedure and then show you how to drain and care for it.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    We'll insert your suprapubic catheter during a surgical procedure. Your HCA UK consultant surgeon will make a cut in your tummy, a few inches below your navel (belly button). After inserting the catheter, they'll strap it to the side of your body. They'll then either attach it to a urine collection bag on your leg or add a draining valve. The procedure is normally carried out under local anaesthetic (which means we'll numb your tummy area), although it can also be carried out under general anaesthetic (which means you'll be asleep). After the procedure, we'll show you to care for, use and drain your catheter.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    You'll be asked to attend a pre-procedure appointment with your HCA UK consultant surgeon. They'll explain the suprapubic catheter insertion to you and answer any questions you might have. Depending on the anaesthetic you'll be receiving, you may be asked to limit your food or drink intake in the hours leading up to the procedure.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    After your procedure, we'll show you how to care for, use and drain your catheter. A suprapubic catheter is normally changed six to eight weeks, so we'll call you back to one of our outpatient centres to do this.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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