In this procedure, a catheter is inserted into the bladder through the urethra (urethral catheterization) or through an incision in the abdomen (suprapubic catheterization). The catheter allows urine to drain out of the body if passing urine is not possible, if a person is incontinent, or if urine flow needs to be measured for diagnostic reasons. The catheter is held in place by a small, water-filled balloon. Some people may be taught to insert a catheter themselves several times a day to drain urine.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.