Bladder lavage – what is it and how is it done

Flushing the bladder is a method of cleaning it of urine or accumulated purulent secretions, widely used in medicine.

Whatever the need for rinsing the bladder may be, the timely implementation of this procedure by a specialist will save your body from a whole set of dangerous complications.

Stuck urine in this organ or pus accumulated in it can cause a significant deterioration in your health and reduce the tone of the whole body. Even on their own, such symptoms are quite dangerous.

If you have other diagnosed diseases, a detrimental synergistic addition of harm from several ailments can be provoked. It is necessary to highlight the main processes that make it necessary to flush the bladder.


The most common reason for flushing the bladder is inflammation of a different nature. A disease such as cystitis requires a separate mention, because it does not begin to progress at the time of organ damage by infection. It needs the emergence of a favorable environment for this, the positive factors for which are other infectious diseases (from E. coli to influenza).

In addition, with cystitis, one washing procedure (carried out with errors – especially) can burn the mucous membrane of the bladder, then you will have to carry out repeated cleansing actions already for medicinal purposes: irrigating it with drugs for quick healing.

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The root cause of urinary stagnation can be the occurrence of stones in the organs that make up the urinary system, prostatitis, paralysis of these organs and a number of other destructive complications, including in the urethra.

The stones mentioned above injure the bladder when they move. This is a trigger for organ inflammation. In addition, defects in the mucous membrane of the bladder are sometimes provoked by incorrect or prolonged use of drugs.

Contraindications and restrictions

There are a number of diseases that make bladder flushing impossible, regardless of whether you are doing it yourself or in a hospital setting:

  • Gonorrhea.
  • Various injuries of the sphincter (urinary)
  • Acute urethral inflammation.

If the presence of urinary stones is diagnosed, the doctor decides on the procedure and its conditions, since the procedure will set them in motion. This threatens with possible injury to internal surfaces.


The flushing procedure serves as a solution to several medical problems. Thus, distilled water is used to easily clean the bladder. In cases where it is necessary to irrigate the organ with drugs from the inside, a solution of the necessary drugs is used. The volumes of liquids are determined individually, based on the characteristics of the case. Be that as it may, the volume of the organ is first calculated (the volume of urine excreted in one urination is measured).

A tripod is installed with an Esmarch mug fixed to it (sometimes a syringe is used instead) at a certain height from the patient. The catheter is flushed with furacilin.

The first step is to clean the urethra, after which the catheter is inserted. A sign of successful completion of this action is the withdrawal of urine from the catheter – this means that invasion into the bladder has occurred.

After the complete release of the organ from the accumulated biomaterial, the phase of infusion of liquid into the bladder follows, which is interrupted at the moment when the urge to empty the bladder reaches a patient persistent peak. There is a discharge of fluid through the catheter.

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The infusion and outflow are repeated until the fluid coming out of the bladder is clear. During these procedures, mucus can become blocked in the catheter, causing fluid to stop flowing. In this case, the catheter is cleaned using a special solution.

On average, 8-12 iterations of this cycle are required, each of which takes about two liters of fluid. Before completing the procedure, the patient’s bladder is half-filled with the medicated solution and the catheter is removed.

Doctors recommend that the patient lie down quietly for about 30 minutes after rinsing to maximize the healing effects of this procedure.

The urethra of a woman is much shorter than that of a man, which is why the bladder lavage in men is carried out exclusively in a hospital setting.

Complications and consequences

The washing procedure can cause some complications, especially when it is carried out in violation of the method or sanitation standards.

In cases where the catheter was not properly treated with an antiseptic, episodes of infection of the bladder and other organs were recorded. This can provoke new pathologies, for example, urethritis.

The selection of medicines is an important aspect of preparing for the procedure. Incorrectly selected medications can cause burns to the bladder mucosa. This is a very dangerous complication that will entail a number of medical measures, and put you at risk of developing dangerous infectious diseases.

It is important to take into account all the individual characteristics of the patient’s excretory system and its structure prior to the bladder cleansing procedure. The wrong choice of the catheter, its unprofessional insertion, as well as ignoring the structural features of the patient’s urethra, will most likely lead to injury to the mucous membranes of the organs.

If blood appears in the urine in excess of medical standards, the washing procedure stops immediately in all cases, without exception. In turn, a sharp rise in body temperature signals that an infection may have been introduced into the organ being washed.

Despite the fact that rinsing is theoretically possible at home, the complications that can follow an incorrectly performed procedure indicate a huge risk. As, however, and the list of nuances that are important to consider. Seeking the help of qualified medical personnel is the right decision to reduce the risk of complications to a minimum.

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.