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Urine drainage bags

Leg bag

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Description

Urine drainage bags collect urine. Your bag will attach to a catheter (tube) that is inside your bladder. You may have a catheter and urine drainage bag because you have urinary incontinence (leakage), urinary retention (not being able to urinate), surgery that made a catheter necessary, or another health problem.

How Your Leg Bag Works

Urine will pass through the catheter from your bladder into the leg bag.

Where to place your leg bag:

Emptying Your Leg Bag

Always empty your bag in a clean bathroom. Do not let the bag or tube openings touch any of the bathroom surfaces (toilet, wall, floor, and others). Empty your bag into the toilet at least two or three times a day, or when it is a third to half full.

Follow these steps for emptying your bag:

Changing Your Leg Bag

Change your bag once or twice a month. Change it sooner if it smells bad or looks dirty. Follow these steps for changing your bag:

Cleaning Your Leg Bag

Clean your bedside bag each morning. Clean your leg bag each night before changing to the bedside bag.

When to Call the Doctor

A urinary tract infection is the most common problem for people with an indwelling urinary catheter.

Call your health care provider if you have signs of an infection, such as:

Call your provider if you:

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References

Griebling TL. Aging and geriatric urologoy. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 128.

James RE, Palleschi JR. Suprapubic catheter insertion and/or change. In: Fowler GC, ed. Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 99.

Solomon ER, Sultana CJ. Bladder drainage and urinary protective methods. In: Walters MD, Karram MM, eds. Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 43.

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Review Date: 1/10/2021  

Reviewed By: Kelly L. Stratton, MD, FACS, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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