If natural emptying of the bladder via the urethra no longer works or is greatly limited, catheters are used.
We distinguish between the transurethral (through the urethra) and the suprapubic (through the abdominal wall) bladder drainage.
In transurethral emptying of the bladder, a catheter is pushed into the bladder through the urethra.
The front part of the catheter is in the bladder and is fixed there with the help of a balloon, whereas the rear part protrudes out of the urethra and is connected with a urine bag.
To change the catheter, the balloon filled with a glycerine solution is emptied via an externally situated valve and the catheter can be removed from the urethra.
Transurethral bladder drainage is the most frequent form of catheterisation.
Its disadvantage is its susceptibility to bacterias, which find an ideal environment between the wall of the catheter and the urethra and can lead to infections of the urinary tract.
In the suprapubic bladder drainage, the bladder is punctured with a metallic split cannula (external diameter 4.6 mm or 5.6 mm) from the abdominal wall and the catheter pushed into the bladder via this access. The fixation in the bladder via a balloon and the further possibilities of emptying and connection correspond to the transurethral catheter, which is identical in construction to a great extent. Silicone is used as a material.
To exchange the catheter, a guide wire is used. The soft tip of the guide wire is being pushed into the bladder through the catheter. Over this wire, the old catheter is pulled out and a new catheter pushed into the bladder.
Directly after removal of the catheter, the hole in the bladder closes automatically and thus prevents urine from flowing out of the bladder into the abdominal area.
The procedure is less traumatic than its sounds.
There are no important organs between the abdominal wall and the bladder and as the procedure is only done when the bladder is full (the patient has to drink a lot beforehand), the distance between the abdominal wall and the bladder is low.
The patient is given a local anaesthetic.
Unlike the transurethral bladder drainage, which can also be done by a male or female nurse, positioning of a suprapubic catheter is reserved for physicians.
The great advantage of the suprapubic bladder drainage is the considerably lower susceptibility to infections and thus the higher benefit for the patients.
The range of products of medfein comprise transurethral and suprapubic catheters, split cannulas and exchange wires that are available single or as sets.
A speciality of the catheters is the integrated balloon (see product descriptions).
In this way, the shaft of the catheter is not dilated at the area of the balloon and therefore it is possible that the diameter of the split cannulas can be kept smaller than in competitive products.