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What is a Foley Catheter used for?

Foley catheters, also referred to simply as indwelling catheters are meant for those who require continuous catheterization. The Foley catheter is inserted into the urinary bladder and left there for a long time. Urinary catheters are used in almost all cases wherever indwelling catheters are required. Most of them have a double-lumen design and are known as two-way Foley catheters. There are some called three-way Foley catheters because they have a third rubber tubing used for continuous bladder flushing.


How do Indwelling Catheters work?

An indwelling Foley catheter is inserted into the bladder and held in place through a balloon placed in the bladder and then inflated by injecting sterile water into it. One end of the indwelling catheter inserted into the bladder has the balloon at its tip, while the other has two or three channels/lumens. One connects to a urinary drainage bag, while the other has a valve attached. Through this, sterile water is injected to inflate the balloon. The balloon remains inside the bladder and prevents the catheter from slipping out of the body.


There are two different types of Foley catheters – urethral and suprapubic catheters. A urethral catheter is inserted into the bladder, while a supra-pubic Foley catheter involves placing the catheter into the bladder through a small cut in the abdomen.


How to choose the correct Foley Catheter?

Foley Catheter types are several and will depend on your individual needs. Factors that will decide your selection include gender, period of usage, material sensitivity. You also have to choose from type, size, length, material, and use.


1.Types of Foley Catheters

Two-way Foley Catheter The two-way catheter has two channels and a retention balloon. One channel is utilized for draining out urine, and another channel inflates the retention balloon. An inflated retention balloon securely holds the Foley catheter in place. It is generally used for the management of urinary dysfunction.


Three-way Foley Catheter  Three-way catheter includes three channels. Like a two-way catheter, one channel is used to empty urine, and another inflates 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.


2.Size of the Indwelling Catheter

The common sizes of Foley catheters are in the range of 10 FR to 28 FR. Your medical professional can best suggest to you that which catheter size will work best for you.


3.Foley Urinary Catheter Length

The length of an Indwelling catheter differs in males , females, and paediatrics. Men need longer tubing, which is usually between 40 and 45 cm. For female foley catheters, the standard length is 25 cm.


4.Foley Catheter Material

These catheters are generally made from silicone rubber or latex natural/rubber. The latter is cheaper but usually avoided because the user can be prone to infections due to latex, and it can also cause hypersensitive reactions. Then there are silicone-latex catheters which are essentially latex but with a silicone coating. It lasts between one and two weeks. Catheters made exclusively of silicone are expensive but popular for Foley catheterization. They are safer and more secure in comparison and last longer, for up to 6 to 8 weeks, but they are more rigid.


5.Period of Catheter Usage:

Your catheter choice will also depend on your usage, whether you need it for the short term of up to two weeks or the long time for up to three months.


Short-Term Foley Catheters: Short-term Foley catheters are generally used during surgeries and the post-surgery period to provide relief from short-term urinary retention, administer medication into the bladder, or monitor urine output. These may be made of PVC or latex, or Teflon-coated latex.


Long-Term Foley Catheters: Long-term Foley catheters are used in cases where the patient is bed-ridden, has a chronic illness, and is unable to pass urine the normal way. Situations include severe urinary incontinence, bladder outlet obstruction, and chronic urine retention because of neurological disease or injury. These catheters are made of silicone, silicone-elastomer coated latex, hydrophilic polymer coated latex, silver-alloy coated catheters, and more.


How to Insert a Foley Catheter?

  • Maintain sterility throughout the procedure of Foley catheterization.
  • Put on the gloves and clean the perineal area. 
  • After cleaning the perineal area, dip a 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 that 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 erected penis. Doing so can cause trauma after insertion. Deep breathing can help in relaxing muscles. 
  • To inflate the balloon, inject sterile water to 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 way easier than inserting it. 
  • You just 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. 
  • Make sure that the volume of sterile water injected is equal to 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.

Where I can buy Indwelling Catheter online?

At HPFY, we have different types of indwelling Foley catheters from experienced brands like Lubricath , Rusch, Kendall, Bardex

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