What is a Flip-Flo catheter valve?
The Flip-Flo valve is a tap-like device which fits into the end of our catheter (urethral or suprapubic). The Flip-Flo offers you an alternative to using urinary drainage bags. Your bladder then continues to store urine and can be emptied intermittently by releasing Flip-Flo. Flip-Flo can be used whether your catheter is permanent or temporary.
What benefits does a Flip-Flo catheter valve have for me?
Many people may prefer to use Flip-Flo as it is more discreet and comfortable than a leg bag. Flip-Flo may reduce the risk of infection and blockage of your catheter by allowing the intermittent flushing of urine. If you are likely to have your catheter removed in the future, then a Flip-Flo valve may make this more successful as you bladder function is morel likely to be maintained.
When should I open the Flip-Flo catheter valve?
You should open Flip-Flo whenever you feel the need to pass urine, before going to bed at night and first thing in the morning. If you wake up in the night and feel that you wish to pass urine, then do so. During the day you should release your catheter at least every four hours, or more if you drink frequently. Prior to opening your bowels, open Flip-Flo, as this will minimise leakage around your catheter (bypassing).
Can I change my own Flip-Flo catheter valve?
Flip-Flo should be changed every 5-7 days, as recommended by the Department of Health. You should seek advice, support and training on how to change your Flip-=Flo from your healthcare professional. Wash your hands first and then empty your bladder by opening the Flip-Flo. Remove your old Flip-Flo and then replace it with your new one. Rinse the old Flip-Flo and put it in some paper or plastic bag and put it in the rubbish. Do not burn Flip-Flo valves, catheters or drainage bags.
Can I use Flip-Flo catheter valves with Uriplan drainage bags?
Yes, it is possible with certain catheter valves, like Flip-Flo, to connect a Uriplan drainage bag at night to the end of your Flip-Flo. The tape on Flip-Flo is then left open during the night. In the morning close Flip-Flo and remove your Uriplan drainage bag, remember not to disconnect Flip-Flo. You can also use Flip-Flo with a Uriplan leg bag. This allows you to drain your bladder intermittently into your Uriplan leg bag and is particularly useful when toilet use may be difficult. Flip-Flo increases the number of options available to you, for the drainage of urine.
Is my personal hygiene important?
Wash the area where your catheter enters your body as part of your daily hygiene regime. Avoid applying creams, antiseptics and talc around this area. Bathing or showering with Flip-Flo in place will not cause any harm. If you get a discharge from the catheter entry point to your body, clean this area more often and contact a healthcare professional if it persists or smells.
How do I support my Flip-Flo catheter valve?
You may find Flip-Flo will tuck into your underwear. Alternatively, a leg strap on your upper thigh will support Flip-Flow tucked under it. You do not need to keep Flip-Flo lower than your bladder when it is not being emptied. Leg straps are available on prescription.
What should I drink and how much?
You should drink at least 1.5 litres per day (8-9 cups, 2-3 pints), however, there is no restriction on what and when you should drink. If the colour of your urine is a light yellow colour, then you are drinking enough. Ask you healthcare professional whether cranberry juice is suitable to you.
How do I store my catheters and Flip-Flow catheter valves?
Keep them in their original packaging in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight. Remember your catheters, and Flip-Flo are sterile, so look after them. Do not use product if the original packaging has been damaged.
What about going on holiday?
Ensure you take spare catheters and Flip-Flo valves with you to cover the period of time you are away. You should also carry a letter from your doctor explaining that you have a catheter, why you have it and a description of the equipment you use.
What about my sexual activity?
If this is an area of concern, talk to your healthcare professional who will discuss the various options available or suitable to you.
What might cause my catheter to leak (bypassing/ spasm)?
- Constipation and straining.
- Your catheter gets blocked.
- You accidentally pull or jolt your catheter.
- If you have detrusor instability (irritable bladder).
When should I call for help?
Contact your healthcare professional if:
- You have pain related to your catheter or bladder.
- You have not drained any urine and you suspect your catheter is blocked.
- You start to see blood in your urine.
- Your urine smells and is cloudy; you may have a urinary infection.
- Your urine continues to leak around your catheter.
- You are worried about any aspect of your catheter care.