Category Archives: Catheters

How To Determine External Catheter Sizing

Catheter sizing is not a topic that is easily breached.  For the most part, using an external catheter is not a pleasant experience for a male patient.  It is important to always bear in mind the mental and emotional implications on the patient, as they are already undergoing a considerable amount of stress from their hospitalization.  One of the most detrimental mishaps in the use of an external catheter for men is a failure of the catheter or bag.  More often than not, this occurs due to an improperly fitted catheter.

A Male External Catheter provides a non-invasive option for nurses and physicians to remove the consideration of urination from their treatment plan.  By using an external catheter, they can effectively eliminate the need for frequent toileting while still giving the patient a sense of independence by teaching them to emplace and change the male external catheter on their own.  However, proper catheter sizing is critical to ensuring that this experience is as positive as possible for the patient.

Hollister External Condom Catheter

A condom catheter is probably the most popular model of External Catheter for men.  To properly fit this item, one must be sure to correctly measure the length of the penis and the circumference at the widest point.  From there, these measurements can be used to find a condom catheter of an appropriate length and width that allows it to comfortably fit on the patient, while still being tight enough to prevent leakage.  A healthcare provider may want to consider shearing or trimming the pubic hair to prevent any tugging or pinching, but will want to note that, if trimmed too short, subsequent regrowth may irritate the area around the base of the catheter.

After properly sizing and fitting the male external catheter, the last step is to match the catheter with the correct size urine bag and to arrange or affix the bag in such a way that there will be no twisting or kinking in the line.  If done properly, a Condom Catheter can be a more comfortable substitute to the historical invasive catheter for men.


How Does an External Catheter Work?

There are times when men or women have incontinence problems or have undergone a surgical procedure. At which circumstance, urination can be difficult From time to time, we all excrete wastes including urine. External catheters are a device attached to the genital to collect urine. Catheters vary based on sizes and gender, albeit there are catheters that can be used for men and women.

Mentor Freedom Cath

Types of Catheters

There is a corresponding external catheter for both sexes. These are the male external catheter and female external catheter.

  • Male External Catheter. A male external catheter is a sheath in rubber material. It is attached over a penis to empty the urine. Some catheters take the form or shape of a condom, like the Texas catheter. At the tip of the catheter has a tube attached to another tube, which leads to the collection bag. There are also catheters that use Velcro attachments. Others use a special type of tape to fasten the sheath around the penis base. The external catheter for men is attached to a tube made of plastic, which leads to a bag. The bag stores the urine until emptied. Another term for catheters is freedom cath because it enables a man to urinate without the trouble of getting up. Men who suffer from incontinence can seek comfort from using a male external catheter.
  • Female external catheter. The catheter used for female takes the form of a tube which is tucked into the opening of urethra, the urethral meatus. Mostly, women use catheters to empty urine especially if they had sedation for surgical operation or to determine the conditions of the bladder through injecting some fluids into it.

Wide Band Self Adhering Catheter

The female catheter has two types of collection bags. One type of a drainage bag is large and which can hang under the bed of the patient for overnight use. The other type is known as the leg bag because it is connected to a leg, which makes the whole device discreet.


What is the Difference Between a Foley and Intermittent Catheter?

Catheters are medical tubes which are designed with rubber, vinyl, silicone or thin plastic for the purpose of removal or delivery of fluids to the body. The term, catheterization refers to the process of inserting catheter into the body. We have the Suction Catheters which includes trachea catheters, bronchial catheters, and oral catheters, as well as, the Urinary Catheters which includes Touchless catheters, Intermittent catheters, Foley catheters and External Catheters.

Foley Catheter

Mainly due to the fact that there are various types of Urinary Catheters, it becomes necessary to know the difference between some of them. This brings us to the difference between a Foley and intermittent catheter. The Foley Catheter is a catheter that is uniquely tipped and attached with a balloon device. This balloon device is mainly for the purpose of keeping the catheter in place while it is inserted within the patient’s bladder and is mostly used for longer periods.

There are various types of Foley Catheter but we shall discuss the Bardex I.C. Silver coated latex Foley catheter. This particular Foley catheter is designed with silver and hydrogel coating and several studies have proven it to be very effective in the reduction of cases of NUTI in patients that are being catheterized. The combination of the mentioned materials makes it easier for the catheter to be inserted within the patient’s urinary bladder without any discomfort.

Intermittent Catheter

Intermittent Catheters are a type of catheter that is used for immediate removal of urinary fluid. When they are inserted internally, into the patient’s body, they function by draining the urine from the urinary bladder into a drainage bag or a urine leg bag. When it comes to the intermittent catheters, we have various types including the Robinson catheter clear vinyl catheter. This type of intermittent catheter is stiffer than the other catheters, especially those that are made with latex. This makes it easier for the catheter to be inserted.

It would also interest you to know that in the process of the inserting the internal or intermittent catheters, catheter lubricants are used to reduce friction during insertion.


What Are Catheters Used For?

Catheters for Urinary TreatmentJust Exactly what is a Catheter?

A medical catheter is a tube inserted into a body cavity. Catheters provide drainage, injection of fluids, or access by instruments. Catheterization is the insertion of a catheter. Generally, the catheter is a thin, flexible tube. However, it should be noted that some catheters are larger and solid. It’s possible that a catheter will be left in the body in which case it is called an indwelling catheter.

Some Catheter Uses:

  1. Draining urine from the bladder
  2. Drainage of urine from a kidney
  3. Coloplast Conveen Intermittent Catheter

  4. Drainage of fluids such as an abdominal abscess
  5. Injecting fluids such as intravenous feeding
  6. Angioplasty and Angiography use a catheter

Doctors and especially surgeons use catheters in a variety of situations and for a variety of purposes. However, the one we most often think of is the draining of urine from the bladder.

The tube is inserted through the penis into the urinary tract in males. In females insertion occurs into the urethral meatus. It can be complicated in females due to anatomical variations caused by age, obesity, and childbirth. It takes skill and some patience to “cath” some females.

It may be very painful; for that reason, most physicians use a topical anesthetic prior to “cathing” a patient. This is not a do-it-yourself procedure. Only trained qualified personnel and only equipment designed for the purpose should be used. However, in some cases, a physician will train a patient to do self-catheterization if there is a justifiable reason for it.

Hollister Everyday Self adhesive Catheter


The catheter was in use by 1868 when the first patent was filed. David Sheridan was responsible for inventing the modern disposable catheter, which occurred in the 1940s. Because red rubber tube catheters were being reused from patient to patient, they were spreading disease and infection, so Sheridan came up with an alternative to solve some of those problems. Now several different types of medical catheters are available for specific functions. Internal catheters include Foley Catheters, Touchless Catheters and Intermittent Catheters. Male patients usually make use of an external catheter which consist of a sheath device.


Kendall Curity Bedside Drainage Bag A catheter may be left in place for a while in which case it will be attached to a drainage bag. The purpose of this is to measure urine volume. This bag may be what is called a leg bag that is attached by elastic bands to the leg. It can even be worn throughout the day because it can be concealed under pants or a skirt. Another type of drain is a larger device that is used overnight and will hang on the bed or rest on the floor.


Today catheters are made of polymers of one kind or another. Silicone rubber latex is often used because it doesn’t react to body and medical fluids. It’s not as strong as it might be, however, and some serious complications have occurred due to a breakdown of the catheter. There have been instances where surgery has been required to remove parts of the catheter from the bladder.

The thought of having a tube inserted in a delicate part of our bodies makes us shudder a little. However, we can be thankful that the process has evolved and been refined over the years.

Vitality Medical provides discount catheters urinary supplies to hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, government agencies and homecare. A prescription from a physician is required for all internal catheter purchases. Prescriptions are not required of external catheters. Catheter supplies are shipped directly to home addresses and health care facility addresses. Vitality Medical can be reached by telephone at 800-733-4449.