Choosing the Right Catheter

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The main use of catheters is to remove fluids from the bladder. They are specifically used when the patients cannot urinate by themselves. Catheters are generally used if there is an injury to bladder or urethra and for people suffering from urinary incontinence. The use of a catheter is not limited to these symptoms. Catheters can also be used in cases such as radiation therapy, blockages, prostate cancer surgery and prostate enlargement. Depending on the need and symptoms it is best to choose the catheter that is most suitable.

Intermittent catheters

Choosing the Right Catheter

Intermittent catheters are the short term catheters that are used only when  bladder needs to be emptied. The continuous use of urinary bags is not required.  Intermittent catheters allow for free and more active lifestyle as it is used only at the time when required. In most of the cases, this catheter is recommended. The sterile catheter is normally inserted via urethra into the bladder. Intermittent catheters are usually pre-lubricated that reduces the discomfort or damage while inserting it. The catheter can be removed when the flow stops. Use a new catheter each time it is inserted. Never reuse it.

When to perform Intermittent catheterization?

Intermittent catheterization is recommended to obtain a sterile urine specimen, to relieve urinary retention, for urologic surgery or surgery on contiguous structures, for critically ill patients requiring accurate measurement of intake and output, and for temporary obstruction of the bladder opening due to injury.

Intermittent catheterization is preferable to chronic indwelling catheterization in certain patients with bladder dysfunction. It has become the standard care for patients with spinal cord injuries. Elderly patients, following surgical repair of hip fractures, regain the ability to control urination more quickly on a program of intermittent catheterization every six to eight hours compared to the use of indwelling catheters.

Intermittent catheterization may be performed four or five times a day by the health care practitioner or care-giver. Patients who are interested in self-catheterization should be instructed and trained by a qualified health professional. This is also true for patients who require indwelling catheterization, as the procedure for insertion is similar to that for intermittent catheterization, with added responsibility of inflating the balloon.

Indwelling catheters

Choosing the Right Catheter

Indwelling catheters or Foley catheters are inserted in the same way as intermittent catheters but they are left attached for an extended duration of time. These catheters are usually inserted and removed by the healthcare professional instead of the user. Indwelling catheters have a water balloon on one of the ends that goes into the bladder. This balloon structure prevents the catheter from falling out. It can be inserted either through the urethra or through a small hole in the abdomen. Indwelling catheters are often fitted with a valve that is used to control the flow of urine. The valve can be opened to initiate the flow into the toilet and closed while the process finishes. Indwelling catheters need to be changed at least every 3 months, as longer duration increases the chances of infection.

External Catheters

Choosing the Right Catheter

External catheters or condom catheters are placed outside the body, unlike other catheters which are inserted into the urethra. The catheters are typically manufactured for men that wrap around the penis. The external catheter connects to the tube that is connected to a urinary drainage bag. As compared to other catheters, external catheters carry a lower risk of infection. It is also convenient to many people who don’t want the hustle of interesting it and taking it out. External catheters must be changed on daily basis.

According to shape and material used there are different types of catheter available like Silicone Catheters, Round Tip Catheter, Hydrophilic Catheter and many more. Do consult the healthcare professional for the insertion instructions and proper usage.

Where to buy Urinary Catheters online?

Shop Catheters offers a wide variety of options for catheters from renowned brands like Bard, Covidien, Medline, and many more.



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