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.
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.