Catheter: As individual and versatile as you are
Single-use or permanent, transurethral or through the abdominal wall: Whoever gets in touch with this topic can be easily overwhelmed by the abundance of information on this topic. Don’t be afraid: We shed some light in the dark.
Urinary catheters, among others, are used for anyone who has been operated recently and therefore, temporarily can’t go to the toilet independently. Catheters are also in some cases prescribed by doctors for immobile men, women and children. Furthermore, anyone mobile without the ability to empty their bladder in a usual way could benefit from this medical device. When using a catheter, the urine drains directly from the bladder into a bag that is either attached to the bed or to one leg. These products are made of soft plastic and are produced in different diameters and circumferences. They are measured in their own measurement system: Charrière (CH).
The right size of a catheter will be advised by a physician. If you already know which product and size you need, go ahead and get your catheter in our online shop.
Different kinds of catheters
An indwelling catheter remains inserted for a longer period of time. Caregivers and nursing staff place it in the bladder via the urethra (transurethral long-term catheter). Suprapubic permanent catheters are placed through the abdominal wall and by physicians. For the sake of completeness: Beside the kinds of catheters mentioned above, there is one more: the renal catheter. It leads the urine directly from the kidney to the outer abdominal wall. Indwelling catheters must be replaced every few weeks.
These devices are two- way systems, where one way drains the urine and through the other way medical staff fills a little balloon with distilled water, which makes the catheter stay in the right place. While three-way catheters are used to medicate patients or to irrigate the bladder in addition.
Disposable transurethral catheters only have one way. Urology specialists rely on those kinds of products while examining a patient. And they are used by men and women, who are not able to urinate in a conventional way. Those who use them regularly can place the catheter independently in the bladder, let the urine drain and remove the tube again. This happens four to six times a day (intermittent catheters).
Besides the time the catheter remains in the urethra and the number of ways, there also exist different tips. The most common ones are the following:
Nelaton is a straight, round tip, which is used for men, as well as, for women
Tiemann tips are slightly curved and end conical. They are only used for men with an obstacle in the urethra.
Mercier combines Nelaton and Tiemann. It is a cylindric tip with a curve
Products for women, children and men
There are some typical physical differences of adults and children, as well as, men and women. They also must be considered when choosing a urinary catheter – at least if you are looking for disposable ones. Men have got the longest urethra. That’s why products for them are mostly 40 centimeters long. Those for women and children are shorter.
What are catheters used for?
Urinary catheters are often needed in nursing homes and hospitals, as well as, for anyone in home care. Often, they catheterize themselves.
Our FAQs about catheters:
Why do people get a catheter?
There are different reasons. Urologists use catheters to examine patients, in hospitals and care homes they are a remedy for those who can’t urinate in the toilet. Users of catheters can also be a incontinent mobile person with a corresponding medical diagnosis who cannot use large shaped pads, diapers or pads. For them draining systems like catheters, which are combined with urine bags, support an active, self-determined life. On the other hand, there is a risk of infection.
How do urine catheters for women work?
A thin tube is inserted into the bladder via the urethra. If the woman uses a long-term catheter, urine drains into a bag which is attached either to one of her legs or the bed she is in. Women who catheterize themselves can empty their bladder in the bathroom independently.
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