Continuous Bladder Irrigation

Reasons Doctors Order Continuous Bladder Irrigation


Continuous bladder irrigation is much like what the name implies. It is a procedure implemented to keep fluid flowing through the bladder on a continual basis for a specified period of time. The procedure is not terribly complicated, but it must be performed by a doctor or qualified nurse and then should be monitored quite closely.


In general, there are two reasons that a doctor would order a patient to have continuous bladder irrigation. The first is to provide medicine directly to the bladder. The medicine would be introduced into the bladder through the irrigation process.

The other common reason is to keep the fluid flowing in order to lessen the chances that any blood clots would form in the bladder. This is typically done following certain surgeries that have been known to increase this specific risk.

To begin continuous bladder irrigation, a catheter is inserted. A small bag of saline water is attached. The patient will urinate through the catheter as well as receiving the irrigation.

The irrigation will continue until either all of the needed medicine has been delivered or the chance of blood clots has been eliminated. Usually, the irrigation will continue for one to two days.

Because diseases in the bladder are quite rare, it is more likely that continuous bladder irrigation would be for the purpose of preventing blood clots.  There is one surgery in particular that is often followed with the procedure.

The surgery that is most commonly followed by continuous bladder irrigation has to do with having an enlarged prostrate. When the prostate is enlarged, it can impede the flow of fluid.  When this happens, doctors will often perform what is called transurethral resection of the prostate. This surgery helps to make room for fluid to flow freely.

A common complication, however, is that blood is often present in the initial flow. This can be problematic as it could lead to blood clots forming in the bladder.  By providing continuous bladder irrigation, there is no time for blood clots to form and that danger is eliminated.

As with any medical procedure, there are some risks. Of course, your doctor would discuss and such risks with you prior to performing the procedure.  If needed to prevent blood clots, the risks of the blood clots outweigh the possible risks of the procedure.

It is not painful and, once in place, most do not even report much discomfort. Of course, this procedure is almost always going to be performed on an in-patient basis as is must be closely monitored.

Continuous bladder irrigation is not a very complicated procedure and the risks are relatively minor. Discomfort is minimal and, most would agree, that the benefits outweigh any risks or discomfort.

If your doctor has mentioned that you might need continuous bladder irrigation, there are videos available online that explain the procedure in depth. Be sure that you ask any questions that you might have so that you will be as comfortable as possible when it comes time for the catheter to be placed.