• A urinary catheter can be temporarily installed to keep the ostomy open if:
    • the gastrostomy balloon button or tube breaks or is accidentally removed and no other replacement button or tube is available for you to replace it with or you are unable to do so,
    • another type of button or enterostomy long tube breaks or is accidentally removed.
  • We suggest a procedure that you can use as a guide; discuss with your healthcare team the specific equipment used for your child.
  • NEVER INSTALL URINARY CATHETER IF YOUR CHILD HAS A OSTOMY FOR LESS THAN 6 TO 8 WEEKS (or other length of time as recommended by your healthcare team). If a button or enterostomy long tube change is necessary at this time, contact your healthcare team.
  • You can feed your child through the urinary catheter, if recommended by your healthcare team, while waiting to have it replaced by the button or enterostomy long tube. Contact your healthcare team rapidly if you cannot use the urinary catheter to make arrangements to replace the button or long tube.
  • Ensure your child’s comfort during care by using different positioning and distraction techniques that suit your child best.
  • Assess the need to be have a second person available during the procedure to keep your child in a safe position (eg, if your child is young and/or moving).
  • It is essential that the urinary catheter is securely fixed after installation.
  • While waiting for the catheter to be replaced with a button or long tube, you should measure the length of the catheter on the outside of the body to prevent it from going deeper into the stomach; if the catheter is too short, reposition it by gently pulling it back until you feel the balloon press against the inside of the stomach and then secure it with tape.
  • Proper hand washing is essential before and after performing this care.


  • If necessary, only if your child has had an ostomy for more than 6 to 8 weeks (or other length of time as recommended by your healthcare team).

Required materials:

Refer to your healthcare team if the material used at home or the sequence of steps taught is different from what is described in the method of care. 

Depending on your child’s age and condition, always encourage your child’s autonomy in carrying out the care method of care.

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