Continuous Bladder Irrigation


Continuous Bladder Irrigation (CBI) is a medical procedure where urine is continuously drained from the bladder while a sterile solution is flushed through it. This procedure is commonly employed by medical professionals to prevent or manage blood clots following surgical interventions on the urinary tract. Typically, CBI is carried out over several days within a hospital environment.

The primary role of the urinary system is to eliminate waste products from the bloodstream by excreting them as urine. Urine is stored in the bladder, an organ resembling a balloon located in the lower abdomen, until it is expelled through the urethra.

Reasons for undergoing the procedure

Healthcare providers often use Continuous Bladder Irrigation (CBI) to prevent or remove blood clots in the bladder following urinary surgeries, such as bladder surgery or transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). Surgical procedures on the urinary system can lead to the formation of blood clots, tissue fragments, or other debris, which can obstruct urine flow.

After such surgeries, many patients need to urinate through a catheter, a tube that drains urine. Blood clots and debris can block the catheter, impeding urine flow and potentially causing infections, kidney damage, and pain.

CBI helps to prevent and flush out these clots, ensuring normal urine flow. Doctors also utilize continuous bladder irrigation to:

  • Get rid of bladder stones.
  • Give medicine directly to the bladder.
  • Provide relief to an inflamed, infected, or irritated bladder lining.


Although CBI is usually quite safe, the following uncommon problems can occur:

  • Blockage of the catheter, necessitating replacement or flushing by a doctor.
  • If bacterias enter the urinary system, a urinary tract infection could result.
  • Paraphimosis, which is the impalementation of the foreskin on an uncircumcised penis.
  • Tear or perforation in the bladder.

Before the procedure

You need to have a catheter inserted into your bladder before beginning continuous bladder irrigation. If you’ve had surgery or are in the hospital for any other reason, you might already have one.

It is a narrow tube, a catheter. It is placed inside the peeing area. It enters your bladder through the urethra.

The catheter’s tip is located along your upper thigh, outside of your body. Its three ports, or openings, serve three distinct purposes:

  • To maintain your bladder open while the catheter is being inserted, inflate a balloon.
  • To flush it out, send solution into your bladder.
  • Remove all liquids, including urine, from your body.

During the procedure

Regular providers of continuous bladder irrigation are nurses or urologists, who are medical specialists in the urinary system. Two bags filled with sterile saline solution (saltwater), plus medication if needed, are suspended from a pole during the process.

The doctor connects two of the catheter’s ports after first cleaning the outside ones. One port connects to a bag on the pole that holds the irrigation solution, while the other connects to an empty bag that is placed next to you and holds the liquid that is drained from your body. Although it is dormant, the third port helps keep the catheter in place.

During the process, the doctor will:

  • Verify the urine’s color.
  • Adjust the sterile solution’s drip and flow, accelerating or decelerating it as necessary.
  • Regularly empty the drainage bag.
  • Calculate the amount of urine that comes out.
  • Keep an eye out for debris, clots, or blood in the pee.
  • When a sterile saline bag is empty, replace it.

At first, the urine may exhibit a bloody hue and contain visible particles. Over time, it should gradually clear up, progressing from a pinkish tint to transparency.

While the catheter remains in place, you may experience discomfort, such as sensations of bladder fullness or a persistent urge to urinate. It’s crucial to avoid tugging on the catheter. If you encounter pain or notice any fluid leakage from the catheter, promptly notify your nurse.

After the procedure

Once your urine appears clear or only slightly pink for a consecutive couple of days, the physician will discontinue the continuous bladder irrigation. Subsequently, the catheter is removed from your body and detached from the collection bags.


After the bladder irrigation procedure, there is typically no need for a recovery period. However, you will still need time to recover from the initial surgery. Your doctor will give you specific instructions for this healing process.