11. Bladder emptying

These notes are for use together with the Colley Model.


A feeling of incomplete emptying may be experienced by the individual after passing urine.

Voiding normally results in complete bladder emptying. If there is doubt that this is being achieved, then a measurement of any urine remaining in the bladder post-void, should be taken. A bladder scan ultrasound device is the preferred option for this. An in/out catheterisation to measure any post-void residual urine is not routinely recommended. If there is no access to a bladder scan device locally, then discuss this with a member of the Bladder & Bowel Team and consider a referral for this to be done. The Excellence in Continence Care document 2018, recommends a bladder scan as an essential part of the assessment process.


NHS England, 2018. Excellence in Continence care: Practical guidance for commissioners, and leaders in health and social care, s.l.: Publications Gateway Reference: 08266. Download it here.