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Trial without catheter (TWOC): Frequently asked questions

Patient information A-Z

What is a trial without catheter?

A trial without catheter is when a catheter which has been inserted via the urethra (water pipe) is removed from the bladder for a trial period to determine whether you are able to pass urine spontaneously.

Diagram showing the foley catheter
Catheter diagram

What will happen once the catheter has been removed?

You will be encouraged to fill your bladder slowly by drinking sufficient fluid. This normally entails drinking a glass or cupful of liquid approximately every 45 to 60 minutes.

Do I have to stay in hospital during this time?

Not necessarily although, by remaining in hospital, this allows us to monitor your condition closely. If you live locally, you may be able to return home after the catheter has been removed; alternatively, you can leave the clinic but remain within the hospital so that you can return to the clinic at any time.

How long will I have to remain in the hospital?

You should remain until you have passed urine satisfactorily. This is monitored using a bladder scanner and the scan will be performed by the specialist nurse after a variable period of time (usually three to four hours) or if you have passed urine twice. If your bladder begins to feel uncomfortable and you are unable to pass urine, a scan may be performed sooner.

Other information

This patient information leaflet provides input from specialists, the British Association of Urological Surgeons, the Department of Health and evidence based sources as a supplement to any advice you may already have been given by your GP. Alternative treatments can be discussed in more detail with your urologist or specialist nurse.

Who can I contact for more help or information?

Oncology nurses

Uro-oncology nurse specialist
01223 586748

Bladder cancer nurse practitioner (haematuria, chemotherapy and BCG)
01223 274608

Prostate cancer nurse practitioner
01223 274608 or 01223 216897

Surgical care practitioner
01223 348590 or 01223 256157

Non-oncology nurses

Urology nurse practitioner (incontinence, urodynamics, catheter patients)
01223 274608

Urology nurse practitioner (stoma care)
01223 349800

Urology nurse practitioner (stone disease)
07860 781828

Patient advice and liaison service (PALS)

Telephone: 01223 216756
PatientLine: *801 (from patient bedside telephones only)
Email PALS

Mail: PALS, Box No 53
Addenbrooke's Hospital
Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QQ

Chaplaincy and multi faith community

Telephone: 01223 217769
Email the chaplaincy

Mail: The Chaplaincy, Box No 105
Addenbrooke's Hospital
Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QQ

MINICOM System ("type" system for the hard of hearing)

Telephone: 01223 217589

Access office (travel, parking and security information)

Telephone: 01223 596060

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151