Reviewed by Christine Kijek, Registered Colorectal Nurse, on September 17, 2022
A Foley catheter helps in draining urine from the bladder into a urine collection bag. It is a thin tube constructed of soft and flexible material that is inserted into the bladder to completely empty it. Foley urinary catheter features a small retention foley balloon that is inflated in the bladder to hold the catheter in place. The retention balloon prevents falling out of the catheter from the bladder and lets the user perform his daily activities with freedom. Since the catheter can be left in the bladder for an extended period, it is also called an indwelling catheter.
These are usually categorized into three broad categories, namely, two-way, three-way, and Foley catheters with a temperature sensor. A brief description of these categories is given below:
A two-way catheter has two channels and a retention balloon. One channel is used to drain out urine, and another channel is used to inflate the retention balloon. An inflated retention balloon securely holds the urethral catheter in place. It is widely used for the management of urinary dysfunction.
A three-way catheter contains three channels. Like a two-way catheter, one channel is used to drain out urine and another to inflate the retention balloon. The third channel helps provide continuous bladder irrigation to clear blood clots or debris. A three-way catheter is used in the case of prostate tumors, bleeding from the bladder, or after urological surgery.
A Foley catheter with an integrated temperature sensor near the tip is used to measure the temperature of urine inside the bladder. It also helps in determining core body temperature. The temperature-sensing catheter is used for intensive care and some surgical procedures.
Choosing an appropriate indwelling catheter is essential for successful catheterization. When buying a catheter, a few points to consider are its material, size, length, foley balloon size, and tip design should be kept in mind.
The choice of catheter material should be what suits your body type and minimizes the risk of urethral irritation.
These catheters come in three lengths, short, standard, and pediatric.
There are 3 foley catheter balloon sizes: 5cc, 10cc, and 30cc. Choosing a larger balloon size than required may result in dragging the catheter due to the water weight in larger balloons. The larger balloon sits higher in the bladder and can increase the risk of getting urethral damage. Under or over-inflation of the balloon can block the drainage eyes and cause bladder spasms. Therefore, the balloon should be inflated according to the guidelines of the manufacturer.
Foley urinary catheter is categorized into two types, depending on the type of catheter tips: Nelaton catheter and Tiemann catheter.
The diameter of the Foley catheter is measured in Charriere (Ch or CH) or French (Fr or FR) size. It indicates the external diameter of the catheter. Choosing the smallest possible size that offers adequate drainage is always recommended because a larger diameter may cause urethral spasms and irritation. These catheters with larger charrier sizes can be used for supra-pubic catheterization to prevent blockage. Here is an image that describes catheter size with color codes -
Removing it is easier than inserting the catheter.
Health Products For You carries a wide range of urinary catheters and other urological supplies. Explore our catalog today to find your best pick.
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Anushree Kothari, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2016. She has a deep interest in human physiology and wellness and possess a passion and talent for guiding others through ...
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