Bergen Urological Associates, PA

S.P. TUBES: PATIENT INFORMATION

"S.P. tube" stands for suprapubic tube. This is similar to a small piece of intravenous tubing that is placed via the lower abdomen into the urinary bladder. It is secured to the abdominal wall skin with stitches so that it will not fall out. The end of the tube is either connected to a drainage bag or is plugged so that urine will not lead out of the tube. The end of the tubing can easily be coiled within your underwear.

HOW TO MANAGE THE SP TUBE WHEN PLUGGED:

  1. Keep the suprapubic tube plugged to avoid urine leakage out of the end of the tube.
  2. When you feel the urge to urinate (try to let your bladder fill up for at least two hours) try to urinate on your own. Do not struggle or strain, but try to go in as normal a fashion as possible.
  3. When finished voiding or if unable to void—when finished with the voiding attempt, simply unplug the tube and allow the end of the tube to drain into a measuring cup. It may take several minutes to completely drain the "residual urine" because of the very narrow caliber of the suprapubic tube. When drainage ceases, re-plug the tube, reposition it into your underwear, and resume your normal activities. Try again in several hours.
  4. You should maintain a written log of the residual urinary volumes. Once the residual volume is consistency low (approximately 60-90cc), please call the office, 201.342.6600 for a nursing appointment for SP tube removal.
  5. SP tube removal is a very simple process. The stitches that secure the suprapubic tube to the skin removed, the tube is simply taken out, and a bandage is placed on the small opening.

SYMPTOMS YOU MAY EXPERIENCE AS A RESULT OF THE SUPRAPUBIC TUBE:

There are approximately six inches of tubing coiled within the urinary bladder. This can cause irritation creating the sensation that you have to urinate, and sometimes inducing frequent urination or spasms causing temporary leakage. The coiled tube within the urinary bladder can sometimes irritate the bladder enough to cause it to bleed a small amount. Do not be alarmed by any of these symptoms as they are all temporary and will cease after removal of the suprapubic tube. It is recommended that while the tube is in place that you restrict your activities to non-exertional activities. You may resume a completely normal diet. You may shower or bathe with the tube in place.

In summary, a suprapubic tube is a method of t managing voiding difficulties. The tube is used as a safety valve to ensure complete emptying of the urinary bladder and most patients tolerate it extraordinarily well with no long term ill effects.

Andrew Siegel, M.D.
January 2007


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Bergen Urological Associates

255 W. Spring Valley Ave.
Suite 101
Maywood, NJ 07607
Tel: 201.342.6600
Fax: 201.342.4222
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