Exploring Different Types of Urinary Catheters

A urinary catheter is a small, thin tube that is placed in the bladder to empty it when unable to do so yourself. These medical devices are available in a variety of forms, all designed to accomplish unique tasks and designed for various uses. This article highlights the different types of catheters to help you understand their uses.

Indwelling Catheters

Foley catheters (indwelling) are ones that are designed to remain in the body for a long time. There are two main types:

  1. Urethral indwelling catheters: Placed in the urethra and advanced into the bladder.
  2. Suprapubic indwelling catheters: These are placed via the stomach (bypassing the urethra) into the bladder.

External catheters are placed and removed by healthcare professionals, whereas indwelling catheters are inserted and left for as long as required. For regular use, they are generally replaced every month or two. But leaving an internal catheter in place longer increases the risk of infection.

Intermittent Catheters

Intermittent catheters are inserted into the urethra to empty the bladder on demand and then removed once the bladder is empty. Users can learn to catheterize themselves, and the technique is straightforward enough for most people to perform.

There are two main types of catheters in this category:

  1. Non-hydrophilic catheters: These are not prehydrated and may need extra lubrication for easier insertion.
  2. Hydrophilic catheters: These catheters come with a coating, which makes the surface slippery and keeps the friction very low during insertion and removal, avoiding any sort of complications.

As a rule, intermittent catheterization is carried out with some regularity (at least four to six times a day) so that the routine of visiting the toilet complies with normal urinary routines.

Choosing the Right Catheter

Since there are so many different kinds of catheters, it is important for you to find the one that suits you best. If you are unable to urinate naturally, intermittent catheterization is recommended as a way of emptying the bladder and most closely mirrors natural function. This provides users with more control and freedom.

Hydrophilic single-use catheters appear to offer the best evidence for reducing the risk of developing complications. Be sure to speak first with your healthcare provider if you’re unsure about the specific type of catheter that’s right for you.

Get the Catheter Supplies You Need From Northside Medical Supply

At Northside Medical Supply, we understand the importance of having access to reliable catheter supplies. You can choose the ideal option from our various types of catheters. When it comes to intermittent or indwelling catheters, we have you covered.

Don’t let bladder problems stand in your way. Please come visit us, check out our full line of medical supplies in Atlanta online, or give us a call, and we will make caring for your catheterization needs as easy as possible. Our knowledgeable staff can help with any questions you have about catheter use.

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