Martha Jefferson Healthwise: Bladder Scanner

Oct. 23, 2013

Doctors are using new technology to help patients after surgery. In this week's Martha Jefferson Healthwise report, CBS19's Stephanie Satchell found out more about a device called a bladder scanner and why it's making a big difference for patients.

After having a surgery that requires anesthesia, your organs need time to wake up and begin functioning again including your bladder.

Often doctors give you a certain amount of time to empty your bladder on your own. If you can't, a catheter is usually the next option.

Now new technology is being used at Martha Jefferson Hospital called a bladder scanner.

"It's a piece of equipment that we use to see how much urine is in a patient's bladder," said Abby Denby, Nurse Manager, Martha Jefferson Hospital.

It basically works like an ultrasound.

"You put the ultrasound probe on the patient’s abdomen on the bladder. With the click of a button, the device tells you how many milliliters of urine is in the patients bladder. It's that simple," said Denby.

Before the hospital used bladder scanners, a catheter would normally have to be inserted to ensure that a patient emptied their bladder.

Now the new scanner means new benefits for patients.

"It's less painful for a patient...not that a catheter is painful for a patient, but it's certainly uncomfortable. This is non-invasive and it decreases their risk for a urinary tract infection," said Denby.

The new device is helping the hospital decrease the use of catheters and increasing the comfort of patients.

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