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Is it common for a new Suprapubic cath to get clogged?

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    Is it common for a new Suprapubic cath to get clogged?

    I had surgery on Mon January 9th for the sp cath. I haven't had any problems with it until earlier today. All of the sudden my body started becoming very systematic as it does when I have a full bladder that needs to be emptied. I got ahold of my home health nurse & she had me flush it w/ 10cc's of saline. This did the trick a few minutes later my bag filled up w/ 500cc's. Well tonight it happened again so I flushed it again & bout 300cc's came out. Is this something that may happen for awhile while the surgery site is healing up?

    What size (Fr) is your cath tube? Without trying to state the obvious, a narrower tube is more likely to get clogged up with the normal crud of the bladder. I would assume it would clog even easier during the initial healing of the tube's placement. That's just my best guess though! I had my SP placed in 2008, and they started with a 24 Fr, so I had no clogging issues. I wish you the best and hope it has resolved by now!


      How does the urine look when it flows after the flush? Are you getting sediment out when the urine starts to flow again? Is there any blood?

      "retto76" is right about smaller sized catheters clogging up more easily than larger ones. I have a 16 FR and have had for 20 months without any problems. But, I don't have any sediment in my urine. Some doctors prefer to start out with smaller catheters and enlarge if and when necessary.

      How much water are you drinking? You may need to increase your fluid intake. You need to be drinking a minimum of 1-1/2 liters a day and better at 2 or more.

      If you keep having problems with this over the weekend, call your home health nurse again and ask for further advise.

      All the best,


        It's common to start out with a 16fr, and if there are any flow problems, then it can be increased to an 18, or even to a twenty. I guess it depends on the performance of the SP to the patient. My uro doc told me that they prefer to start out with a 16 for less irritation. I went up to an 18 last year and find it to be just right for me, while others have 24's because it works best for them. Some people seem to produce more sediment and mucous in their bladders than others, and that can clog the orifice, thus needing a flush to clear it. Drinking plenty of fluids is a must with a SP Tube to minimize this issue.


          What do you mean by "systematic"??? Are you talking about autonomic dysreflexia?

          A new catheter can clog with blood clots from the surgery, or sediment esp. if you already had "sand" or other fine sediment or stones in your bladder at the time of the surgery. Did you have cystoscopy during the procedure? Did your urologist mention anything about stones?

          Rarely is the initial catheter larger than a 16 Fr., but eventually the SP catheter is changed to a 18-22 Fr. catheter. This helps some to prevent clogging, but the initial catheter cannot be changed for 4-6 weeks after surgery, and then it should only be changed by the urologist who did it.

          Until then, you may need to do a daily routine irrigation with normal saline (not sterile water, which is too irritating). If you continue long term to have problems, then you may want to speak to your urologist about daily Renacidin instillations. Did you not have problems with regular clogging when using a urethral indwelling catheter?

          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


            mine kept clogging then i switched to silicone, no more problems
            C5/C6 Complete since 08/22/09