Medical Definition of Bladder catheter, indwelling

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Bladder catheter, indwelling: A flexible plastic tube (a catheter) inserted into the bladder that remains ("dwells") there to provide continuous urinary drainage.

The principal type of indwelling bladder catheter is the "Foley" which has a balloon on the bladder end. After the Foley catheter is inserted in the bladder, the balloon is inflated (with air or fluid) so that the catheter cannot pull out but is retained in the bladder as an indwelling catheter. Removal is accomplished simply by deflating the balloon and slipping the catheter out. The "Foley" is named for Frederic Eugene Basil Foley (1891-1966), an American urologist.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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