The catheter helps get rid of extra fluid around your lungs or in your abdomen.
The catheter allows you to drain the extra fluid around your lungs or in your abdomen at home. Draining fluid will help relieve symptoms such as pain in your chest or abomen and shortness of breath.
The catheter is generally placed by the doctor using a minimally invasive procedure either in a hospital or a clinic setting. Catheter placement is often performed on an outpatient basis and, therefore, will likely not require an overnight stay in the hospital. Your doctor will place the catheter in your chest or abdomen depending on your specific needs.
You may have a few stitches where the doctor placed the catheter through your ribs (insertion site) and where the catheter comes out of your skin (exit site).
You will drain fluid from the catheter when you feel pain in your chest or abdomen or are having difficulty breathing. Your doctor will tell you how often you should do this. You will want to keep the area around your catheter clean. Your doctor will give you instructions on how this is done.
You will need an Aspira* Drainage Kit for draining fluid and an Aspira* Dressing Kit to change your bandage as instructed by your doctor. Your doctor should have provided you with a supply of Kits but you may need to reorder Kits as you need them.
The Aspira* Drainage Catheter is a soft silicone tube. This tube has lots of holes on one end. This end is inside your body. The fluid enters these holes and flows into the catheter. The other end of the catheter has a valve to access the catheter for fluid drainage.
When you connect the Aspira* Drainage Bag to the catheter, the valve opens. When you squeeze the pump on the Aspira* Drainage Bag, the fluid will start to drain from your chest or abdomen and fill the drainage bag.
When no more fluid is flowing into the drainage bag or the bag is full, unhook the drainage bag from your catheter. Or follow the advice provided to you by your doctor or healthcare provider.
Empty the drainage bag into the toilet and throw the drainage bag in the trash. Do not place it in the recycling bin.
Your doctor or nurse will give you instructions on when and how to drain fluid. If you did not receive this advice and a DVD, Patient Guide or Drainage Kit IFU, you may access these on the website. These will teach you how to care for and drain fluid from your catheter. If in doubt, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.
Some of the things that could happen would include:
You will be given information (see Patient Guide) on what to do if any of these things do happen.
You may shower if a water tight covering, like the one in the dressing kit, is placed securely over the catheter. Do not bathe or allow the catheter to soak under water. If the area becomes wet, remove the dressing, dry and dress with a new dressing kit.
It is up to your doctor to decide how long you need the catheter. It can stay in place as long as you need it and you remain free of complications.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, be sure to consult with your doctor.