Urinary catheters happens to be the most complex types of medical equipment. Though all of them, more or less, serve similar functions but an individual may get a bit confused about which catheter will serve him or her bests.
Patients who are thinking of dealing with urinary incontinence with the help of catheterization, must be very meticulous and diligent in choosing the right urinary catheter that suits their lifestyle and health requirements.
Here are the various types of catheters that are most commonly used.
- Condom or External Catheters – Unlike the other types of catheters that are inserted into the urethra, this one is positioned outside the body. The catheters are generally manufactured keeping men in mind and they are usually wrapped around the penis. These connect to the tube that is connected to the urinary bag of drainage. External catheters, as compared to the other catheters, carry much lesser amount of risks. This one is also convenient for those who do not want to take the hassle of inserting the catheter and taking it out. These catheters must be changed on a daily basis.
- Hydrophilic Catheters – Insertion can be one of the major impediments for appropriate catheter usage. This catheter is recommended by many doctors. Rather than gel, hydrophilic catheters are lubricated with sterile water. This actually mimics more closely the natural fluids of our body. This enhances greater comfort at the time of inserting the catheter. Hence people are encouraged to use catheters whenever the need arises. This triggers more compliance with catheter treatment.
- Indwelling Catheters – Foley or indwelling catheters are those that remain attached for a long period of time. Instead of the user, this catheter is usually inserted and removed by the healthcare professionals. On one of the ends, the indwelling catheter has a water balloon that goes into the bladder. This way the catheter can be prevented from falling out. It can be inserted through a small hole in the abdomen or through the urethra. There is a valve attached with indwelling catheter, for controlling the urine flow. The valve can be opened for initiating the flow into the toilet. Similarly, to stop the process it can be closed. These catheters have to be altered every 3 months as a longer duration can augment the chance of infection.
- Intermittent Catheters – These happen to be the short-term catheters that are put to use only when the bladder needs to be emptied. This does not call for the continuous use of urinary bag. These catheter permits the individual using it to have a more active and free lifestyle as the catheter is used only when required. This one is recommended in maximum cases. This sterile catheter is generally inserted into the bladder through the urethra. The intermittent catheters happen to be pre-lubricated. This is the reason why damage and discomfort at the time of inserting these catheter are very minimal. When the flow stops the catheter can be removed. Each time it is inserted use a new catheter. Never reuse the catheter.
The above are some of the types of catheters that you can choose from, depending on your lifestyle and medical requirement. However, ensure that you purchase a quality product like Nelaton catheter that offers the right solution to your problem with minimum chances of infection.