The inability to deflate a self-retaining balloon catheter is a rare problem but may be encountered by physicians. Many techniques have been described to solve the problem, some of which may be dangerous. The technique must not disturb the patient or create any additional morbidity. Those methods commonly used are the instillation of ether, liquid paraffin, chloroform or mineral oil through the inflation channel; the use of a fine wire to burst the balloon or to recanalize the obstructed inflation channel; bursting or deflating the balloon through suprapubic, transvaginal or urethral routes: and the overinflation technique. The techniques which might be most appropriate for women are explained in a stepwise manner. First the catheter is cut in the proximal segment of the valve. If this is not successful, a ureteric catheter stylet is advanced through the inflation channel until it touches the balloon. If this is still unsuccessful, the balloon is deflated through the drainage channel using the technique proposed by Davies and Thomas. As a second choice, an intravenous cannula with its inner needle drawn back is advanced through the urethra next to the catheter, towards the balloon which, is then punctured with the inner needle. If these steps are followed, the patient will have no additional discomfort and no trauma to the surrounding tissues, and there will be no need for cystoscopy or any other expensive intervention.
I. Gülmez, O. Ekmekçioğlu, M. Karacagil
International Urogynecology Journal