The Foley catheter is one of the more common types of catheters used in the medical world today. This specialized piece of equipment is perfect for certain types of patients and offers distinct advantages over other kinds of catheters. That said, it also has some drawbacks. Here is a breakdown of how a Foley catheter works, and its pros and cons.
What is a Foley Catheter?
A Foley catheter is a specialized kind of catheter that is specifically designed to be easy on the body while offering consistent, reliable drainage. It is an indwelling catheter, meaning it is connected to the bladder through the urethra. The catheter also has two separate channels: one for draining urine and another helps to hold it in place with the help of a special balloon. Its ability to stay in place and offer consistent drainage means the Foley catheter is perfect for people in surgery, coma patients, incontinence sufferers and more.
Pro #1: Foley Catheters are Easy on the Skin
While many catheters can actually cause skin irritation, the Foley catheter is designed to be easy on the skin. Ulcers and skin irritation are common for people using catheters. A Foley catheter is indwelling, meaning it will cause fewer ulcers and be kinder to your skin.
Pro #2: Constant and Reliable Drainage
The Foley catheter is designed for constant and reliable drainage, which is why it is commonly used for monitoring a patient’s urine production and excretion. Because of how it is inserted and operates, the Foley catheter allows a free flow from the bladder directly. If you have a patient that needs to be monitored for urine, this kind of catheter can help give accurate and consistent results.
Pro #3: Can Help Open Up a Blocked Urethra
Blocked urethras are a common problem for people that require a catheter. The thin tube that is used in Foley catheters is actually perfect for helping unblock urethras because of how they are inserted. It then allows for free flow from the bladder without worry of blockage.
Con #1: Foley Catheters aren’t for Everyone
While catheters may seem like a “one size fits all” situation, the Foley catheter is actually a specialized piece of medical equipment. As such, it isn’t right for everyone. In fact, they are specially designed for specific situations. So, before you purchase a Foley catheter, make sure that it is right for you.
Con #2: They may Cause Urinary Tract Infections
Because of the way that Foley catheters operate, they can sometimes cause urinary tract infections. Bacteria can build up in the tube and then travel back up into the patient. This is common for many different kinds of catheters, which is why professional medical supervision is required.
Foley catheters are a special kind of catheter that can help patients get relief without being too uncomfortable. Because of its ability to stay in and provide consistent drainage, this kind of catheter is perfect for surgery patients. Those with enlarged prostates and even people in comas.