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Therapeutic agent for urinary catheter irrigation

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

  • Common Name: Therapeutic agent for urinary catheter irrigation
  • Technical/Medical Term: HCPCS Code A4321


Therapeutic agent for urinary catheter irrigation involves using a solution to cleanse or irrigate a urinary catheter to prevent blockages and promote proper urine flow. This procedure helps maintain hygiene and function of the catheter.


  • Medical Conditions/Problems Addressed:

    • Catheter blockages
    • Prevention of infections
    • Maintenance of urinary function
  • Goals/Expected Outcomes:

    • Clear any obstructions in the catheter
    • Minimize the risk of urinary tract infections
    • Ensure effective and comfortable urine drainage


  • Symptoms/Conditions Warranting the Procedure:

    • Difficulty in urine drainage through the catheter
    • Signs of catheter blockage (e.g., decreased urine output)
    • Preventative care for long-term catheter users
  • Patient Criteria:

    • Patients with indwelling catheters
    • Patients susceptible to catheter-related infections or complications


  • Pre-procedure Instructions:
    • Ensure the bladder is empty, if possible
    • Follow specific instructions from healthcare provider
  • Diagnostic Tests/Assessments:
    • Urine cultures may be taken if infection is suspected
    • Review of patient’s medical history and current condition

Procedure Description

  1. The healthcare provider will gather necessary supplies, including the irrigation solution and sterile equipment.
  2. The patient is positioned comfortably, usually in a reclining position.
  3. Using aseptic technique, the provider will attach the irrigation solution to the catheter.
  4. The solution is slowly introduced into the catheter to flush out any debris or blockages.
  5. The solution and any material flushed from the catheter are then drained out.
  6. The catheter is checked for proper functioning after irrigation.
  • Tools and Equipment Used:

    • Irrigation solution (e.g., saline)
    • Syringe or specialized irrigation equipment
    • Sterile gloves and other aseptic supplies
  • Anesthesia or Sedation Details:

    • Generally, no anesthesia or sedation is required


  • The procedure typically takes about 15-30 minutes.


  • Where Performed:
    • Hospital
    • Outpatient clinic
    • Home care settings with professional supervision


  • Healthcare Professionals Involved:
    • Nurses
    • Urologists or other specialized doctors
    • Home healthcare providers

Risks and Complications

  • Common Risks:

    • Mild discomfort or burning sensation
    • Minor bleeding or irritation
  • Rare Risks:

    • Infection
    • Damage to the bladder or urethra
  • Complication Management:

    • Monitoring for signs of infection
    • Immediate consultation with a healthcare provider if severe pain or unusual symptoms occur


  • Expected Benefits:

    • Relief from blockage and discomfort
    • Reduced risk of infection
    • Improved urinary function
  • Timeline for Realizing Benefits:

    • Typically within 24 hours


  • Post-procedure Care:

    • Keep the catheter clean and follow hygiene instructions
    • Monitor for signs of infection or blockage
  • Expected Recovery Time:

    • Immediate to within a few hours
  • Restrictions and Follow-up:

    • Regular check-ups with healthcare providers
    • Follow advised schedules for any subsequent irrigations


  • Other Treatment Options:

    • Changing the catheter
    • Oral or intravenous antibiotics for infections
    • Bladder instillations with different agents
  • Pros and Cons of Alternatives:

    • Changing the catheter may provide a more immediate solution but involves more dependency on healthcare settings.
    • Antibiotics treat infections but do not remove physical blockages.
    • Bladder instillations can be effective but may require specific expertise.

Patient Experience

  • During the Procedure:

    • Mild discomfort or pressure sensation
    • Some patients might feel slight warmth as the solution is introduced
  • After the Procedure:

    • Patients should feel relief from symptoms of blockage
    • Pain management typically involves over-the-counter pain relievers if necessary
  • Comfort Measures:

    • Proper positioning during the procedure
    • Gentle handling of the catheter and equipment
    • Prompt addressing of any pain or discomfort reported by the patient

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