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Manual Bladder Irrigation

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.


What you need to know about bladder irrigation:

Bladder irrigation is flushing sterile fluid through your catheter and into your bladder. Bladder irrigation helps remove and prevent blood clots in your bladder. The blood clots stop urine from flowing through your catheter. The urine collects in your bladder and causes pain that gets worse as your bladder fills. Bladder irrigation may be needed after bladder or prostate surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation can also cause blood clots in your bladder.

What will happen during manual bladder irrigation:

A catheter (thin tube) will be placed in your bladder. The catheter will have holes that are large enough to allow clots to pass. Your healthcare provider will separate the catheter from the drainage bag. Then your provider will attach a syringe filled with irrigation fluid to the catheter. The fluid will be slowly pushed from the syringe into your catheter and bladder. The fluid and any clots will be removed from your bladder using the syringe. Your healthcare provider will continue the irrigation steps until your urine is clear or clot-free.

What to expect after manual bladder irrigation:

You may have some discomfort with the catheter in place. You may need to have your catheter replaced if irrigation does not help to release the clots. Tell your healthcare provider if you have bladder pain or your bladder feels full. Tell your provider if fluid is leaking around your catheter.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.