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Foley Catheters – Buying Guide

Foley Catheters – Buying Guide
Anushree Kothari

Reviewed by Christine Kijek, Registered Colorectal Nurse, on September 17, 2022

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 balloon which is inflated in the bladder to hold the catheter in place. 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.

Types of Foley Catheters

Foley indwelling catheters are usually categorized into three broad categories, namely, two-way Foley catheters, three-way Foley catheters and Foley catheters with a temperature sensor. A brief description of these categories is given below:

Two-way Foley Catheter

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. Inflated retention balloon securely holds the Foley urethral catheter in place. It is widely used for the management of urinary dysfunction.

 Two-way Foley Catheter

Three-way Foley Catheter

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 Foley catheter is used in the case of prostate tumor, bleeding from the bladder or after urological surgery.

Three-way Foley Catheter

Foley Catheter with Temperature Sensor

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. This temperature sensing catheter is used for intensive care and some surgical procedures.

Temperaturea Sensing Catheter

How to Choose the Right Foley Catheter?

The selection of an appropriate Foley catheter is essential for successful Foley catheterization. When buying a Foley catheter, a few points to consider are its material, size, length, foley balloon size, and tip design should be kept in mind.

Material: The choice of catheter material should be what suits your body type and minimizes the risk of urethral irritation.

Length: Foley catheters come in three lengths, short, standard, and pediatric.

  • A short-length catheter (23 - 26 cm) is ideal for ambulatory female patients. The short length allows the leg bag to be worn beneath the skirt. This type of catheter is not recommended for male patients as the shorter length may cause severe trauma to the urethra.
  • Standard length catheter (40 - 44 cm) is ideal for male patients. Bedridden female patients can also use this type of catheter.
  • A pediatric catheter normally has a length of about 30 cm.

Balloon: Foley catheters come in 3 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.

Tip Design: Foley urinary catheter is categorized into two types, depending on the type of catheter tips: Nelaton catheter and Tiemann catheter.

  •  Nelaton Catheter: This type of catheter usually has a round, straight tip with two drainage eyes. It is ideal for routine catheterization.
  • Tiemann Catheter: The Tiemann catheter has a curved tip specializing in negotiating male prostatic curves and difficult insertions.

Charrier size: 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. Foley catheters with larger charrier size can be used for supra-pubic catheterization to prevent blockage.

How to Insert a Foley Catheter?

  • Maintain sterility throughout the procedure of Foley catheterization. · Put on gloves and clean the perineal area.
  • Put on the gloves and clean the perineal area.
  • After cleaning the perineal area, dip cotton in the povidone-iodine solution and gently apply it to the urinary opening in a circular motion.
  • Apply some lubricant to the catheter tip and then insert it.
  • Insert the catheter until its near end is reached to ensure it has entered the urinary bladder.
  • Once the urine starts flowing out, you can be sure that the catheter is inside the bladder. Now the balloon can be inflated to prevent the accidental removal of the Foley catheter.
  • Do not insert the catheter into a spastic urinary opening or an erect penis. Doing so can cause trauma after insertion. Deep breathing can help relax muscles.
  • To inflate the balloon, inject sterile water into the injection port. It is usually recommended to fill the 5cc balloon with 7-10cc of sterile water and the 30cc balloon with 30-35cc of sterile water.
  • Pull the catheter gently to check if the balloon is inflated.
  • Attach the other end of the Foley catheter to the urine bag.

How to Remove a Foley Catheter?

  • Removing the Foley indwelling catheter is easier than inserting it.
  • You need to aspirate the sterile water from the injection port.
  • While putting negative pressure, make sure that the lumen of the catheter from where the port comes out gets thinner. This indicates that the balloon is really deflated. An improperly deflated balloon can cause trauma to the urethral passage.
  • Ensure that the volume of sterile water injected equals the volume of sterile water you get after aspirating.
  • Slowly pull the catheter away from the urinary opening.
  • After removal, check for blood, urine crystals, or pus in the tip of the catheter, as this may be an indication of a problem like bleeding, stones, or infection.
  • Discard the catheter and the urinary drainage bag.

Top Five Foley Catheters of 2020

1. Bard Bardia 2-Way Silicone-Elastomer Coated Foley Catheter With 5cc Balloon Capacity

Bard Bardia 2-Way Silicone-Elastomer Coated Foley Catheter is designed with a hydrophobic material rejecting moisture. This rigid latex catheter is coated with Silicone Elastomer to help reduce urethral irritation and maximize stiffness without compromising flexibility. It is designed with two opposing eyes for drainage. It is rigid latex, is easier to insert, and reduces urethral irritation. A permanent coating and smooth surface make it an easy-to-use Foley catheter.

Features of Bard Bardia 2-Way Foley Catheter

  • 5cc balloon capacity
  • Latex-based construction
  • Medium length
  • Round catheter tip
  • Single-use

2. Amsino AMSure 2-Way Silicone Coated Latex Foley Catheter

Its silicone coating helps reduce urethral irritation. The firm catheter tip is designed to improve the ease of insertion. It features large oval eyes to aid in maximum drainage. Silicone is typically resistant to chemical attacks and insensitive to temperature changes.

Features of Amsino AMSure 2-Way Foley Catheter

  • Durable and flexible, which help improve patient comfort
  • Tapered funnels for secured connections
  • Smooth beveled symmetrical eyes minimize tissue damage
  • The symmetrical balloon provides a tight seal at the neck of the urethra
  • Strong catheter funnel resists kinking or collapsing while aspirating

3. Medline Two-Way Silicone-Elastomer Coated Latex Foley Catheter - 10cc Balloon Capacity

Medline Two-Way Silicone-Elastomer Coated Latex Foley Catheter with 10cc Balloon has large, oval-shaped eyes, which provide maximum drainage. This catheter features silicone-elastomer coating, which resists encrustation and symmetrical balloon for added reliability and proper placement in the bladder.

Features of Medline Two-Way Foley Catheter

  • Soft, flexible, and conformable
  • Latex
  • Unisex
  • Sterile
Medline Two-Way Silicone-Elastomer Coated Latex Foley Catheter - 10cc Balloon Capacity
Medline Two-Way Silicone-Elastomer Coated Latex Foley Catheter - 10cc Balloon Capacity

4. Poiesis Duette Dual-Balloon Two-Way Foley Catheter

Poiesis Duette Dual-Balloon Two-Way Foley Catheter is a 100% silicone, self-retaining balloon catheter that provides safe and comfortable means of catheterization. Its innovative dual balloon design has the edge over traditional Foley catheters, whose uncushioned tips and drainage aspiration can cause bladder trauma. A second distal balloon on the tip of the catheter adds another layer of comprehensive infection control. It has a subsumed Tip that is inserted and removed just like a standard Foley catheter. The drainage eyes located between two balloons minimize aspiration damage.

Features of Poiesis Duette Dual Balloon Foley Catheter

  • Duette Dual balloon works in harmony with the body's natural defense against infection
  • Features 10cc retention balloon and 5cc bladder protection balloon for ultimate comfort and safety
  • The anchor balloon inflated with sterile water succeeding insertion preserves the proper position of the catheter
  • Protection balloon inflated with sterile water succeeding insertion safeguards the bladder wall from the catheter tip
  • New training is not required due to easy insertion and removal, similar to a standard Foley catheter

5. Bard Bardia 2-Way Silicone-Elastomer Coated Foley Catheter With 30cc Balloon Capacity

Bard Bardia 2-Way Silicone-Elastomer Coated Foley Catheter is designed with a hydrophobic material rejecting moisture. This rigid latex catheter is coated with Silicone Elastomer to help reduce urethral irritation and maximize stiffness without compromising flexibility. It has two opposing eyes for drainage and a rigid latex body that is easier to insert. It's permanent coating and smooth surface allow for easy usage. It features peel-apart packaging and is single-use in nature.

Features of Bard Bardia 2-Way Foley Catheter

  • 30cc balloon capacity
  • Latex-based construction
  • Medium length
  • Rounded catheter tip/Sterile

Where to buy Foley Catheters?

Health Products For You carries a wide range of Urinary Catheters and other Urological Supplies. Shop from our specifically designed catalog and save big this holiday season. Give yourself and your loved ones the greatest gift of health and comfort, and make holidays healthy. Place your order today!


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HPFY Anushree Kothari

Anushree Kothari

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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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