Is there an alternative for a catheter in a male after bladder surgery?

Megstutu asked...

My husband is scheduled for bladder surgery to remove a tumor (possibly malignant). He had a catheter inserted about 6 months ago to help empty his bladder and the catheter lasted from the emergency room to home and then he tried to tear it out. I had to call emergency and get proper instructions to remove it. I am told now that when he has this surgery (it is done on an out patient basis), if he removes the catheter he must be taken to emergency to have it installed again. Doctors don't seem to understand that I will be taking him back and forth to emergency all day and night. HELP

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

This sounds like a tough situation. Here are some thoughts I had while I read your question.

If you husband needs more monitoring than you can provide at home after his surgery, he may need to be placed in a short term care facility (SNF), which would be covered by Medicare A. There, the nursing staff can monitor him closely, and if he should pull out his catheter, they are absolutely able to replace it.

If he does not qualify, and you have to take him home, ask if you can have his catheter attached to a leg bag, which attaches to the leg, instead of a foley bag. Although the leg bag is smaller and has to be emptied more often, the leg bag will allow you to put pants on him, which I would do, as this may prevent him from pulling out the catheter. You can put his pants on backwards, so he will not be able to unzip them easily, making it even harder for him to pull the catheter out. You could also hire homecare nurses or aides to sit with him 24/7, watching him closely to make sure he doesn't pull the catheter out.

Hope this helps. Good luck!