In January this year, for the first time since my suprapubic catheter was installed in May 2013, the entry site healed. Previously there had always been a small amount of leakage around the entry point. This seemed to be accompanied by cloudiness and sediment in my catheter suggesting that leakage had allowed in bacteria causing urinary tract infections; it also caused a mess that needed some form of protection.
When I was in a spinal injuries hospital from January until July 2013, my catheter had been changed every 5 week, then, after returning home, every 12 weeks. When changed, this tore the entry point a little and increased the amount of leakage; so when the entry point had healed, there seemed to be a good reason to see what happened if it were kept beyond the normal 12-week interval.
I tried to find out why 12 weeks had been chosen. None of the nurses I met knew the reason beyond that it was standard practice. I searched the Internet: 12 weeks was the unanimous recommendation but I could find no reason beyond that it was recommended by manufacturers. Why was it recommended by manufacturers?
I had no infection in January 2019. My catheter was changed at the normal 12-week interval on 5th February. This was followed by two minor infections, soon cleared with Nitrofurantoin.
The next change of catheter, due on 30th April, was postponed. On 23rd May, my catheter was left with insufficient slackness. It pulled and began to leak around the site. I had a minor infection on 24th May. As the leakage around the catheter site had started, the reason for not changing my catheter had gone and it was changed on 27th May, a day short of 16 weeks after the previous change.
By the third week in June, my catheter site was healed. By late October my catheter was becoming discoloured but with no serious outward signs of deterioration. So I kept it a little longer. Then on 13th November it came out. The bubble holding it in had become deflated. And so it was changed after 24 weeks and two days.
One of the problems of keeping suprapubic catheters in for a long time appears to be deterioration of the mechanism holding it in. Has anyone else got any further thoughts or experiences on this matter?