Advanced Practice: How to Place a Word Catheter

Supplies needed:

  • latex word catheter
  • sterile water
  • needle and syringe
  • I and D kit


  • Test the catheter: insert the needle tip into the non balloon end of the catheter, instill approx 3 - 5 cc of sterile water. If balloon functioning properly, withdraw the water into the syringe.
  • After appropriate anesthesia, perform incision and drainage of the cyst/abscess.
    • Be careful not to make a very large incision as the catheter may fall out after placement
  • Insert the word catheter into the tract
  • Instill 3-5 cc of sterile water
    • Apply very gentle traction to ensure catheter will remain in place
  • If patient prefers, advise them to tuck the distal end of the catheter into vagina for comfort

Additional management:

  • Remains in place for 2 - 4 weeks
  • In general, treat elderly with antibiotics
  • All patients require gynecology follow up
    • > 40 may need malignancy work up