Foley Catheter Care

A Foley catheter is a rubber tube inserted into your bladder. Once the catheter is in your bladder, a small balloon is inflated at the tip of the tube to hold the catheter in place. The purpose of the catheter is to drain urine from your bladder.

General instructions

  • You may shower with the catheter in place.
  • Twice a day wash where the catheter enters your body using soap and water.
  • Men Only – Apply a small amount of baciquent (bacitracin) ointment to the tip of the penis (where the catheter enters your body) two to three times a day to help with the irritation of the catheter.

What to expect

  • Blood in the urine for several days. Drink plenty of fluids.
  • “Bladder spasms” may occur when the catheter is in place. This feels like a cramp or a sudden, strong urge to urinate. A small amount of urine may leak out around your catheter. Place a pad or gauze in your underpants to prevent soiling.
  • Certain foods and beverages may irritate your bladder causing it to spasm. Avoiding caffeine while the catheter is in place may help.

Draining the leg bag

A leg bag is a urine collection bag that is strapped to your thigh. To empty the bag:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Unstrap elastic bands on leg bag to allow free movement of the bag.
  3. Standing over a toilet or urinal, untwist the blue cap at the bottom of the leg bag. This will open the valve in the cap allowing the urine to drain out.
  4. Once the bag is empty twist the blue cap closing the valve and reattach elastic straps to leg.

The elastic straps on your leg bag may be adjusted by buttoning the plastic button from the bag to the elastic strap. Keep the leg bag positioned around your thigh. Empty the leg bag every 3-4 hours or when the bag becomes 2/3rds full.

Call your doctor during regular business hours 8 am – 4pm at (610)372-8995 if:

  • You notice a large amount of urine leaking around your catheter (make sure the catheter is not kinked).
  • No urine is collecting in the leg bag for 6-8 hours (make sure the catheter is not kinked).
  • Chills with a temperature of more than 100 degrees.
  • Blood in the urine for more than 5 days. Some occasional red tinged urine may be normal, especially with activity.