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Bladder and Ureter

Insertion of Suprapubic Catheter

Retropubic Urethropexy:
and Burch Operations


Ureteroneocystostomy and
With Bladder Flap

End-to-Side Anastomosis

Intestinal Loop
Urinary Diversion



Clam Gastrocystoplasty

Insertion of Suprapubic Catheter

Dissection at the base of the bladder to reach the anterior vaginal wall and uterine cervix creates edema, interrupts the small nerve pathways, and thereby sets up the physiologic changes that produce urinary bladder atony. Therefore, catheter drainage of the urinary bladder is an essential feature of many pelvic surgical procedures. Fortunately, in most cases, these conditions reverse themselves in 3-5 days, and catheter drainage is no longer needed.

Suprapubic bladder catheterization is superior to transurethral bladder catheterization because it is cleaner. It also leaves the urethra open for voiding when urinary function has returned. The use of an ordinary Foley catheter (No. 16 French with 5-mL bag) is preferable to the commercially available suprapubic catheter kits because a Foley catheter, when inserted as described in this section, is usually not dislodged from the bladder during sleep or activity. In addition, the Foley catheter is less costly and is available in all surgical clinics. The instrument used for insertion of the Foley catheter is an ordinary Randall stone forceps. The fulcrum of this instrument is toward the rear, which keeps the overall diameter of the axis virtually unchanged except at the jaws and gives it an advantage over a Kelly clamp.

The operation provides drainage of the urinary bladder through a clean surgical incision and ensures that the catheter does not slip out of the patient or become dislodged within the abdominal wall.

Physiologic Changes. The procedure reduces edema at the base of the bladder, allowing the return of normal vesical function.

Points of Caution.  After grasping the catheter with the jaws of the Randall forceps (Fig. 4) and before inflating the Foley balloon, the catheter should be drawn through the bladder until the tip can be seen in the urethral meatus. This ensures that the catheter tip and balloon are in the bladder and not in the subcutaneous or subfascial space.


This procedure can be performed in the inpatient treatment rooms of a hospital, clinic, or doctor's office. Local anesthesia is adequate for most patients. The bladder does not have to be empty. The patient is placed in the dorsal lithotomy position. The periurethral area and suprapubic area are surgically prepped and draped. A routine pelvic examination is performed prior to placement of the suprapubic catheter. If local anesthesia is to be used, a 4 x 4 cm area around the insertion site is infiltrated with 1% lidocaine. Infiltration should include the fascia and, if at all possible, a small area of the bladder wall.

A Randall stone forceps is inserted through the urethral meatus and used to elevate the dome of the bladder from the inside, pushing the suprapubic abdominal wall upward to the palpating finger.

Upward pressure is maintained on the forceps, and a small incision is made in the suprapubic skin and fascia until the forceps can be felt with the blade of the knife.

A sudden upward thrust of the forceps pierces the bladder wall and pushes the forceps through the incision. The jaws of the forceps are opened and used to grasp the tip of the Foley catheter.

The Foley catheter is pulled through the bladder, and the forceps is withdrawn from the urethra until the tip of the Foley catheter can be seen in the urethral meatus.

Traction is placed on the Foley catheter from above while the balloon is simultaneously inflated. This draws the catheter back into the body of the bladder.

When 5 mL of sterile saline solution have completely filled the Foley balloon, the catheter is firmly retracted upward.

It is not necessary to suture the catheter to the abdominal skin. A sterile dressing is applied, and the Foley catheter is connected to straight drainage.


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