If you’ve just undergone surgery, you might be dealing with the new task of wearing a straight tip catheter or coude catheter. While both of these catheters serve the similar purpose of removing fluid from the body, there are some distinct differences.
What’s A Catheter?
Before diving into the differences between a straight tip and coude tip catheter, it’s important to define what a catheter is in the first place. In a nutshell, a catheter is just a flexible tube that is typically inserted into the urethra and into the bladder for the purpose of removing fluid from the body.
Catheters are usually made from latex, silicone, or sometimes, a combination of both of these materials. A Foley catheter is a type of catheter inserted into the bladder, and then the tip of it is inflated so that the catheter will be in place of the bladder.
An intermittent catheter is another type of catheter with some of the same dynamics as the Foley catheter, but with the intermittent catheter, the catheter is disposed of once the bladder is fully drained. Those that use intermittent catheters will go through numerous ones every day because they are a one-use type of catheter. Foley catheters can be used for a certain amount of time.
What Exactly Is A Straight Catheter?
A straight catheter is called a straight catheter because it is entirely straight from one end to the other. Using a straight catheter after surgery is the most commonly used catheter among most people. Silicone, latex, or silicone-coated latex are materials that are widely used for straight catheters. They can come with or without a funnel.
There is a wide range of lengths of straight catheters that will work for males and females of all different shapes and sizes. A sterile lubricant will need to be used with the catheter if the straight tip catheter isn’t lubricated before use.
What About A Coude Catheter?
The main difference between a straight tip catheter and a coude tip catheter is that with the coude tip catheter, it has an angle in it so that the catheter can be moved around things that might get in the way. Sometimes scar tissues or an enlarged prostate can restrict a catheter from being moved around, so the bend in the coude catheter mitigates the chances of this happening.
The angle or bend in the coude catheter also makes the insertion of it into the urethra a lot easier if there is an obstruction in the way. The coude catheter is available in both the intermittent style and Foley style. One similarity between the straight and coude catheters is that they both require lubrication before using. A catheter always needs to be lubricated before using it.
Certain catheters have little markings on them so that the patient knows that they’re inserting the catheter properly. There are also specific coude catheters that have a bigger angle than others. The most ideal way to figure out which coude catheter will work for you is to try a bunch of them out and see which angle works the best for your anatomy. There are online medical stores that will give you the opportunity to purchase samples or one catheter at a time so that you can experiment with different ones. It’s best not to fully commit to purchasing a massive box until you know which one will work for you.
There’s A Few Different Types of Coude Catheters
Coude olive tip: The could olive tip catheter has a tip that is bent and contains a tiny bulb right at the end of the catheter so that navigation can be easier into the urethra.
Coude Tiemann tip: The coude Tiemann tip is similar to the coude olive tip, but the tip is bent a little thinner and longer. The coude Tiemann tip is also more flexible than the regular coude tip catheters. For those with tiny openings from the urethra to the bladder, the coude Tiemann tip is an ideal choice.
Which Type Of Catheter Should You Use?
If you’re looking for a drain bag after surgery, then there’s a high chance that you’ve heard of straight and coude catheters. If you happen to be having difficulty using the straight tip catheter, then a healthcare professional can give the coude catheter a try instead. If healthcare professionals aren’t aware that you’re having a problem, then nothing can be resolved, so it’s best to bring these issues up.
Sometimes patients describe sharp pains with straight catheters and could benefit from trying out a coude catheter. There are a bunch of different factors that can affect the insertion and removal process of catheters. Sometimes lubricants can be blamed for pain with the drainage bag after surgery, and other times it’s just the catheter itself.
Over time and through experimentation, you’ll find a catheter that works just right, and the process will become much more comfortable and straightforward.