How to Use a Texas Catheter

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The external catheter presents an alternative to an indwelling urinary catheter for men.
The external catheter presents an alternative to an indwelling urinary catheter for men. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images)

A Texas catheter, or external catheter, fits over the penis and channels urine into a drainage bag, protecting the skin from incontinence-induced skin breakdown, according to the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society. It provides a non-invasive alternative for a patient who has no bladder retention problem that requires an indwelling Foley catheter. The most common type of Texas catheter fits over the penis like a condom; the patient or caregiver secures it with either the adhesive on the sheath itself or by an external strap placed after application. Use of an external catheter reduces risks of infection and injury from accidental removal associated with indwelling catheter use.

Things You'll Need

  • Disposable gloves
  • Waterproof protective pad
  • Washcloth and soap
  • External catheter sheath
  • Urinary drainage bag
  • Velcro or elastic sheath holder (if no adhesive on catheter sheath)
  • Hypoallergenic tape

Wash your hands to prevent spread of infection between patient and caregiver.

Put on gloves to prevent contamination of your hands during any procedures where you may come into contact with bodily fluids.

Place waterproof protective pad under buttocks to prevent soiling of bedding.

Wash and dry the penis and scrotum.

Hold the penis at a 90-degree angle and roll the catheter sheath down as you would a condom, leaving approximately 1 to 2 inches at the end of the sheath between the penis and the tubing attachment site.

Secure catheter with Velcro or elastic holder if the sheath is nonadhesive, encircling the penis 1 to 2 inches from base.

Insert drainage bag tubing into sheath attachment.

Tape tubing to secure in place.

Remove and dispose of gloves, and wash hands thoroughly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Change a Texas catheter daily.
  • Trim any pubic hair that may get caught prior to applying the catheter sheath.
  • Monitor skin for signs of sores, rash, redness or swelling with each catheter change.
  • If patient is uncircumcised, pull the foreskin back down after cleansing before applying the catheter sheath.

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