Non Deflating Retention Balloon

A number of factors can lead to a frustrating inability to deflate the retention balloon on a Foley catheter. Mechanical obstruction, which is the most common cause of a non-deflating balloon, can occur as a result of clamping or crushing the inflation channel or can be due to a faulty balloon port valve. Also, filling of the balloon with a fluid other than water can lead to crystal formation with resultant blockage of the inflation channel.

Several techniques have been advanced to deflate retained balloons. If the obstruction is distal, the result of a crush or defective valve, the catheter can be cut proximal to the defect. If this does not deflate the balloon, a lubricated guidewire can be introduced into the cut inflation channel in an attempt to clear the obstruction. If this still fails to deflate the balloon, more invasive techniques can be employed. The balloon can be ruptured within the bladder by a number of techniques. The balloon can be overinflated with sterile water, often requiring 10 to 20 times the normal balloon volume. Chemical disruption can be accomplished by injecting ether, acetone, or mineral oil into the balloon port, or the balloon may be ruptured via a percutaneous suprapubic or transvaginal approach using a 25-gauge spinal needle with or without ultrasound guidance. Catheters should be examined closely for missing balloon fragments, which will often need to be removed by cystoscopy. Prior to attempting any of these techniques, the bladder should be filled with 150 to 200 mL normal saline to minimize injury from balloon fragments and chemical irritation.

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  • harriet
    When the retention balloon of a foley catheter does not deflate?
    8 years ago

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