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Urology/My Father


Hello Dr. Leslie-
My father is 82 years old and has had a foley catheter for over 20 years. They placed the catheter because he wasn't able to urinate on his own after a stroke. Within the past couple of years he has had constant urine infections but within a year he has gone septic a few times due to the urine infections. Besides the foley he is in good health, and does not have diabetes.  Is there anything we can do , is there an alternative to a foley?
Thank you so much,
Ana Michael.


A foley catheter for 20 years is likely to cause a variety of problems.  He could have stones in the bladder or even in the kidneys and these can be identified by x-rays and treated if necessary.

A suprapubic tube might be a more comfortable and more easily changed catheter option. It's also possible that he could void on his own at this point.  A complete urological evaluation might help determine if this is even remotely possible, but after 20 years it would be a long shot.  Good luck.  


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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