Infections in the urinary tract are among the most common conditions experienced by a large number of the population around the world. This infection more commonly affects women than men, primarily because of the short distance between the vaginal and anal openings. Urinary tract infections are also more common to patients who are wearing a catheter. In this instance, a treatment, as well as a form of prevention, that can be used is bladder irrigation using the antibiotic Gentamicin.
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infection happens when the normally sterile urinary tract (urethra, ureters and the bladder) get contaminated by bacteria. As soon as bacteria enter the urinary tract, it commonly stays and grows exponentially in the bladder, thus creating the infection. Symptoms of the infection commonly include pain, frequency in urinating and in serious cases fever with chills. A simple urinary infection is normally treated with single or small doses of antibiotics. However, if the infection is recurrent, stronger doses may be required.
Bladder Irrigation using Gentamicin
Gentamicin used in bladder irrigation is considered a standard form of treatment for patients who already have recurring urinary infections. It is also used as a preventive measure for patients who are about to undergo catheterization. Bladder irrigation is a procedure which is minimally invasive and thus requires little recovery time. In this procedure, a solution of Gentamicin is introduced through the existing catheter. If the patient is not wearing one, then a catheter will have to be inserted to perform the irrigation. What the procedure does is wash the bladder surface and the urethra. With this, the bacteria present in those areas are then exposed to the antibiotic.
Is it Safe?
Yes. Overall, Gentamicin bladder irrigation can be considered a safe and effective form of treatment. Irrigating the bladder with the antibiotic solution helps to clear the recurring infection as the bacteria is directly exposed to the strong antibiotic. Because of the efficacy of this form of treatment, bladder irrigation with Gentamicin has been used regularly in patients who have been wearing a catheter for a long time as this minimizes the risk for interstitial cystitis. Although it has been proven to be effective, a downside to this kind of treatment is that it can be a source of discomfort for the patient and in worse cases, even pain. Just like any medical procedure, risks for complications can also occur; however they are considered minimal.