Intermittent catheterization is a procedure that involves the insertion of a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) into the bladder through the urethra in order to drain urine. It is typically performed to manage urinary incontinence (inability to control the release of urine) or to empty the bladder in people who are unable to do so voluntarily due to a medical condition.
Intermittent catheterization is typically performed several times a day at regular intervals, with the frequency depending on the individual's needs and the underlying medical condition. It can be performed by the individual themselves or by a healthcare provider.
There are several reasons why someone may need to undergo intermittent catheterization. Some common indications for this procedure include:
- Spinal cord injury or other neurological conditions that impair bladder control
- Bladder dysfunction or damage due to surgery or radiation treatment
- Urinary retention (inability to empty the bladder completely)
- Incontinence due to muscle weakness or other medical conditions
Intermittent catheterization is generally safe and effective when performed properly, although there is a risk of infection or other complications. It is important to follow proper sterile technique when performing the procedure, as well as to clean and maintain the catheter properly to reduce the risk of complications.
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