How to Change a Super Pubic Catheter While Maintaining Sterile Field

A super pubic catheter is a catheter inserted through the wall of the abdomen and directly into the bladder. As with any catheter UTIs can be a frequent risk, which is why maintaining a sterile or clean field is imperative, the set up is where most mistakes are made. Before attempting,please ensure you are able to change a catheter on your own. Most facilities have trained or delegated staff for such tasks, if you are concerned at all, at anytime be sure to contact your doctor.


  1. 1
    Ensure you have all needed supplies within arms reach. Once you begin this process you do not want to leave the area. Items you will need include: gloves (preferably more than one pair), a trash can, a foley catheter (the size will be determined by your doctor and provided by your pharmacy or medical supplies provider), insertion tray (provided by your pharmacy or medical supplies provider), an empty syringe, and your catheter bag.
  2. 2
    Wash your hands with an antibacterial soap and warm water
  3. 3
    Ensure your hands are dry and then put on gloves.
  4. 4
    Open up your insertion tray. This tray is routinely wrapped in a medical paper or underpad, this will be used as a non sterile field. Open it to expose your tray, leaving it flat. Everything in the kit at this point is sterile, once touched by your gloved hands it is no longer sterile.
    • You should see 2-3 more underpads and a packet that contains sterile gloves. Open up an underpad very carefully, making sure to only grab the edge or corners, as little as possible. Placing this piece in an accessible location, the part of the paper facing up is your sterile field and cannot be touched by your gloved hands as they are now. Very carefully open up the gloves, they will be folded in half, open this up, you will see to flaps leave these closed until you switch gloves later in the process.
    • In your tray you will find, a lube pack, a pack of iodine either by itself or with swabs already coated, if the iodine packet is by itself you should see cotton swabs and a pair of tweezers. Place the lube pack next to the tray, and open the iodine packet, if need be pour over the swabs without touching them.
  5. 5
    Check the potency of the balloon on the end of the foley catheter. The top portion of the kit should come out, set this to the side on either the unsterilized underpad or to the side Do not set this on the sterile pad. Pull out the prefilled saline syringe. Set this to the side.
  6. 6
    Open your foley catheter. It will be in two different casing, the first can be thrown away the second should be perforated on both sides or down the middle and will stay on until later. Open the end will the two port entries, one is a small opening for the syringe, the other is the opening to connect the bag. Pull the stopper off the syringe and insert into the opening push a small amount of saline into the catheter, now watch the other end of the catheter the balloon should slowly fill. Check for any sign of leaking. Make sure to pull all the fluid out of the balloon. You cannot insert the catheter if the balloon is even partially inflated.
  7. 7
    Open the lube pack. Open the other end of the foley catheter, do not remove the packaging, you only need to expose an inch or so, do not touch the foley itself, this needs to remain sterile, this is the insertion end, place this end in the lube packet and set it aside if any of the foley is exposed set on the sterile pad only.
  8. 8
    Change our your gloves. Do not use the sterile ones yet.
  9. 9
    Now you are ready to begin the process of changing your catheter. Please ensure you follow your doctor's instructions to the letter.


  • It is always a good idea to have a second set of sterile and non sterile gloves before beginning this set up process.
  • At any time you are concerned contact your physician.

Article Info

Categories: Urinary Health | Pages with broken file links