A urinary leg bag is a bag that is used to hold urine and, in a way, serve as a bladder. It can be situated below your knee or above it. They are commonly known as drain bags as well, and they can be connected to a Foley catheter and a condom catheter.
Many people have different preferences for the locations where they want the leg bag situated. Some people prefer to have it worn on their calf, which can be done with what is known as extension tubing. The extension tubing connects down to the catheter that is attached to the calf.
Urinary leg bags are very adjustable and versatile. These urinary bags come in a wide range of different shapes and sizes that should fit many different body types. The straps also come in an assortment of various types. Some of them are:
Leg bag straps
If you have a drainage bag after surgery, feel free to try out a bunch of different styles until you figure out one that works right for you. For something that needs to be worn all day, you’ll want it to feel comfortable. If you happen to try out a bunch of straps and don’t like how they feel, then you can opt for a leg bag holder. A leg bag holder is a type of legging that is worn, and included is a pocket that will hold the leg bag in its place.
There are typically two different types of leg bag holders:
Thigh fabric leg bag holder
Knee/calf fabric leg bag holder
When you’re lying down, leg bags shouldn’t be worn because a leg bag needs to be situated in a way that is lower than the bladder so that urine can drown down into it. One exception to this is the Rusch Belly Bag. A Rusch Belly Bag won’t work with condom catheters but will work with Foley catheters.
The primary purpose of leg bags is to have a secure attachment as you’re working through the day. Many people with catheters might initially think that they can’t enjoy the activities they once did, but that’s not true.
Overnight Drainage Bag - What Is It?
An overnight drainage bag is a larger urinary bag from the standard leg bags used throughout the day. They typically come with 60-inches of extension tubing. When you have a new catheter after surgery, you most likely won’t be wanting to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. An overnight drainage bag has a larger urine capacity to prevent you from having to get up for a bathroom break to drain it throughout the night. Overnight drainage bags come in a number of different variations.
The way in which overnight drainage bags drain might also differ from one style to the next. Some overnight drainage bags have closure valves, while some don’t. All overnight drainage bags have the same purpose while you’re asleep.
The larger overnight drainage bags will go an entire night and then some, and the extension tubing that they come with is longer than the regular extension tubing. This means that you won’t have to worry about the catheter being disturbed if you tend to move in your sleep.
To work efficiently, the overnight drainage bag has to be lower than your bladder. You won’t want to hang the bag in certain areas of your bed, because it won’t serve its purpose that way. Some people opt to hang the bag inside of a water-tight bin, but it’s recommended to make sure that the bag doesn’t tip over.
Urinary Leg Bag Vs. Overnight Drainage Bag - What To Use
Many questions might be lingering in your mind for those that have just been graced with a drain bag after surgery. The main difference between a urinary leg bag and an overnight drainage bag is the size difference between the two. Another key difference to note is that a leg bag is worn throughout the day, whereas an overnight drainage bag will hang next to the bed while you’re asleep.
A leg bag can be worn throughout many different types of activities without having to worry about it. An overnight drainage bag can’t be used in the same way if you’re going to be out and about. A urinary leg bag will have secure straps that hold the bag firmly in place, either around your calf or thigh. Regular pants can be worn over the bag, and there are even some leg bags that work with shorts.
How often should you empty your leg bag? The best time to empty the leg bag is when it gets to around 3/4 full. The majority of urinary leg bags hold anywhere from 19 to 32 ounces of fluid. On the other hand, overnight drainage bags can hold a capacity of between 2000 ml and 4000 ml. This means that you’ll be able to sleep calmly throughout the night without having to worry about emptying it. If you have a caregiver, an overnight drainage bag will give them an opportunity to sleep throughout the night as well without worrying about emptying it.
How Do You Go About Switching From A Urinary Leg Bag To An Overnight Drainage Bag?
There are a couple of steps to follow if you want to switch from a urinary leg bag to an overnight drainage bag:
Ensure to wear a pair of disposable gloves before starting the process to prevent any contamination.
Drain the urinary bag, ensuring that you don’t disconnect the drainage valve until you’re right over a toilet.
Disconnect the leg bag from the urinary catheter or extension tubing.
Ensure that the catheter doesn’t come in contact with the floor or any surface that isn’t sterile. A disposable underpad is suggested for this step.
When you’re ready to securely attach the catheter to the overnight drainage bag, the tip of the catheter should be cleaned with an alcohol prep pad. This will make sure the area is fully sanitized. The tubing connector should also be given a good clean.
After the catheter connection is fully sanitized, it can then be attached to the overnight drainage bag’s connector, while the bag can be hung from a lower area of the bed or in a waterproof bin.
A drain bag after surgery doesn’t need to be a painstaking thing to deal with. These steps are intended for people that are using Foley catheters. For those using external catheters, all of these steps are the same, but you can skip the sanitization part of the catheter tubing before switching to an overnight drainage bag.
The sterilization step for Foley catheters is recommended because sometimes urinary tract infections can occur. Taking small precautions like the ones mentioned will prevent this from occurring. If you’re planning on adjusting your healthcare routine, it’s recommended to speak to your healthcare professional.