Choosing a Hydrophilic Catheter

Hydrophilic catheters are one of the many options available for those who need to use a catheter. They are a fairly new and innovative type of catheter now on the market. Also known as pre-lubricated catheters, these have a coating that's bound to the surface of the catheter. It absorbs water and binds it to the catheter. Because of this binding, the surface of the catheter becomes smooth and slippery and provides lubrication when it is introduced to the urethra. Generally speaking, they are covered by Medicaid and most insurance companies. While this may not be the best option for everyone, there are good reasons for many to choose hydrophilic catheters as the best one for their needs. Consider these questions when researching hydrophilic catheters.

 

Frequently Asked Questions ( 9 )   Add a Question

  1. Who should use hydrophilic catheters?
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    These are considered to be the best option for anyone who might experience pain, discomfort, or pressure during the cathing process. However, even those who do not experience urethra discomfort can benefit because hydrophilic catheters also help to reduce urinary tract infections and other urethral complications.

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  2. How do these differ from other types of catheters?
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    What makes these catheters different from the other types that are out there is the pre-lubricated surface that binds with water. Because they are so slippery, the chance of the catheter causing an abrasion is minimal. Another difference is that you do not need to apply any additional lubricant.

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  3. What are the benefits of this type a catheter?
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    The main benefit of these is the reduced amount of friction compared to other types of catheters. Less friction means less possible damage to the urethra. Recurring damage to the urethra can lead to urinary tract infections and other types of complications

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  4. Does it matter what type of hydrophilic catheter someone chooses?
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    While all hydrophilic catheters are pre-lubricated and have the same type of surface, this does not mean that they are all equal. Quality can vary widely between the different brands. The catheters that have hi-slip® tend to provide the least amount of friction and best protection.

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  5. Do hydrophilic catheters require a prescription?
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    Yes, in order to purchase hydrophilic catheters or any other type of catheter, a person must have a prescription for them. The prescription will be issued by the patient’s doctor and will typically be covered by that patient’s health insurance plan.

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  6. What size catheter should someone select?
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    There are a number of sizes to choose from. The patient’s nurse or doctor will usually make a size recommendation. The size typically depends on the age and condition of the patient’s urethra. Ideally, someone would want to select a catheter that is the largest size possible that is safe and comfortable for that person because a larger one will help them empty the bladder quickly.

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  7. Are hydrophilic catheters latex free?
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    Hydrophilic catheters can be made of latex or be latex-free. If someone is concerned about latex, then it is a good idea to check into this before making a choice as to which one to use. Catheters that are hi-slip® do not use latex.

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  8. Are these catheters reusable?
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    Hydrophilic catheters are intended to be used only once. After that, the surface begins to deteriorate. When the surface deteriorates, the amount of friction will increase. Increased friction can lead to urinary tract infections and other issues.

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  9. How frequently must someone use a catheter throughout the day?
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    The frequency of use varies from person to person. It depends on the size of a person’s bladder and also on how many fluids they take in each day. A doctor or nurse can make an individualized recommendation. Generally speaking, they are used four to five times each day.

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