First Report

U.S. Patient and Clinician Experiences With the inFlow™ Urinary Prosthesis for Permanent Urinary Retention in Women

Leanne Schimke, MSN, FNP-C, CRNP, CUNP; Kevin M. Connolly


Urol Nurs. 2020;40(2):61-73. 

In This Article


Completed surveys were returned from 13 women (76% response) who had been using inFlow for a minimum of 10 months (range 10 to 30 months). Average age was 74 years (range 56 to 92). Respondents self-reported the following PUR etiologies: multiple system atrophy (n = 3), multiple sclerosis (n = 3), cancer (n = 2), diabetic neuropathy (n = 1), idiopathic detrusor areflexia (n = 1), age (n = 1), and unknown (n = 2). Some had utilized more than one method of bladder drainage (e.g., different types of catheters, pads/diapers, emergency room visits) prior to using inFlow. On average, they reported a reliance on catheterization for 4 years (range 1.5 to 15) prior to initial insertion of the inFlow. Reasons for wanting to try inFlow included inability to self-catheterize (n = 4), recurrent UTIs (n = 6), low quality of life (n = 8), and other (n = 6).

inFlow users' self-reported experiences with the device are presented in Table 1. Overall satisfaction was higher with the inFlow compared to satisfaction with prior method(s) of bladder drainage (mean = 8.6 vs. 3.0). Respondents liked numerous aspects of the inFlow, particularly increased convenience, better hygiene, and ability to use a toilet. A majority indicated they would recommend it to other women who rely on self-catheterization or an indwelling catheter.

Ten of the 13 respondents reported having experienced some issues with either the intraurethral device or the Activator (Table 1). All were reported to have been successfully resolved. The average self-reported number of UTIs per year was lower with inFlow compared to the number experienced with prior method(s) of bladder drainage (mean = 2.4 vs. 4.8). No data (i.e., urine culture report and/or medical record documentation) were available to confirm the incidence of UTIs for the sample.

Caregiver Experiences

Eight of the 13 women who responded to the survey indicated they had a caregiver helping them at least some of the time. Seven caregivers returned completed surveys; these data are displayed in Table 2. Three reported they (and not the clinician) performed monthly replacements of the inFlow device for the patient. Five indicated a positive change in their caregiving role in terms of a reduction in time needed for toileting the patient. In addition, five reported the quality of life of the patient was improved, and five others noted improvements in their own quality of life. Two responded that they found no difference in their provision of care, stating use of the inFlow "still takes time."

Caregivers reported their patient had an average of 5.4 UTIs per year using prior methods of bladder drainage. This was reduced to an average of 2.6 while using the inFlow.