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Catheter Encrustation

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:16 pm
by MamaSarah
I have a supra-pubic catheter. It was first placed about 2 1/2 years ago and was initially problem-free aside from some discharge from the site, which continues.
Anyway, the last two scheduled changes have been a nightmare. On both occasions, the district nurses have been unable to remove the catheter and have had to send me to the surgical assessment unit at the hospital.
At SAU, the surgeons have also had real difficulty but have finally got the catheter out. The pain has been excruciating and I’m now dreading each future change.
The problem is one of encrustation. The removed catheters have been heavily encrusted, which has meant they are too wide for the ‘hole’ and also very rough. This has made the removal very difficult. Even with the changes every 8 weeks instead of 12, encrustation remains a big problem.
Is there anything I can do to reduce the extent of the encrustation? Anything I should be eating or drinking that would help?
I don’t really understand what causes the problem so have no idea if there’s anything I can do to tackle it. With a urethral catheter, I used to use Optiflo-G to reduce blockages and I’m wondering if this might also help?

Re: Catheter Encrustation

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:28 am
by Mr Chris Harding
There are several types of bladder instillation on the market - I often recommend a citric acid solution twice a week. I also find an "open-tipped" catheter can be useful in this situation. I do have a handful of patients that need SPC changes every 4-6 weeks despite these measures.

Re: Catheter Encrustation

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:50 am
by Prof Christopher Chapple
There is a tendency in some people to experience problems with encrustation of foreign bodies such as catheters, which is best managed by regular washouts of the catheter. If it is a continuing problem, please seek specialist help from your continence nurse practitioner. I agree with Mr Harding that an open tip catheter is often helpful with more frequent change of catheters if encrustation is a problem.