One of our readers sent in a comment about a drainage bag called a “belly bag” that he found very helpful.
As you are probably aware, the two most common ways to deal with drainage bags are:
- Attach the large “bedside bag” when you are either going to be in bed, or if you are just going to be inside your house with no visitors coming over (unless you don’t mind having a large tube hanging off your hip filled with urine visible to all :-P). Or,
- Attach a “leg bag” to your leg, which can be hidden under your clothes. I did this when I was going to be out in polite society or having company over.
Those were pretty much the only bag options. One other option, which you should always check with your doctor about first, is to put a valve cap on the end of your catheter tube with no drainage bag at all. I talk about how to do that here: Using A Catheter Valve Instead Of A Leg Bag.
So what is a “belly bag?
OK, so one of our readers, named Henry, said “Highly recommend at looking at Belly Bags by Teleflex. Iakes a few weeks letting the SPC site heal but frees up your legs and mobility.”
So basically, this is the same concept as a leg bag except that it goes across the bottom part of your – well – belly. It sits across your lower abs with your belly button just about in the middle of it.
The capacity of it is a bit higher than the standard leg bag. I used the Hollister leg bag, which has a capacity of 30 ounces, which translates to about 887 ml. The Belly Bag’s capacity is 1,000 ml. So you can go a bit longer without having to empty it.
How does it work?
It works in the same way as a leg bag. You attach the end of the catheter tube to the inlet port on the bag. don’t worry that the bag (at least in the case of a standard urethral catheter (as opposed to a suprapubic catheter) will be above the place where the catheter tube comes out of your body. The constant pumping that your bladder is doing will push the urine up and into the bag.
So that’s how it fills. To empty it, you just use the valve at the bottom of the bag. You can just aim it at the toilet and let it flow. Things will come from a bit higher – for guys – than you’re used to. So you may need to do it a few times to get the aim right. But you can also sit down to empty it like women already do.
If you’ve been feeling a bit constrained by a leg bag, and want to check out a belly bag, CLICK HERE to find out more or to order yourself one for about $21.