FR12 VS FR14 Catheters

Posted , 3 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

I'm about to start a test run of fr12 vs fr14 catheters.  But before I do I'd appreciate hearing from an/all of you who have tried both.  Which size did you settle on and why?

My problem is not BPH.  It is weak bladder muscles.  As a rule when my bladder is really full I can pee most of it out without catheters.  It's getting out the remnant which is left.  I have been using fr14s but it always generates some pain and leaves my urinary tract sore after every catherization.

Thank you,

Tom

0 likes, 4 replies

Report

4 Replies

  • Posted

    I would try a 12 and see if that's better and I would also look into different brands. People in this blog love speedicaths - if you don't use them I would try both sizes of that brand and compare. But without the pushback of a big prostate, you might well find that the 12 is the least irritating. 
    Report
    • Posted

      Is that what you find easier, the 12?  For some reason the doctors try to talk me out of trying the 12 but I think it's really up to me, not them.

      Tom

      Report
    • Posted

      No harm trying a 12, easy enough to get samples in different sizes from the manufacturer's if your doc doesn't have them. That said, if the 12 starts buckling up on you, I wouldn't press the issue, no pun intended. In the beginning, you want the process to be as easy as possible and working with a 12 can be like trying to thread a wet noodle through, well a... The 14 has just enough rigidity to work with. Later on, after some practice, you can drop down and see if you can work with a 12. And frankly, I doubt if the soreness you're feeling has anything to do with the catheter size but more to your body adjusting to the process.

      Jim

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi Tom,

    Have you had your PVR (post volume residual) measured either by Ultrasound or catheter? If not, you should because you want a starting point. If you haven't, my recommendation is not to base your starting point on the typical hospital ultrasound test where they have you drink tons of water just prior to having you void. This in many cases will give you an artifically high PVR, especially if you have weak bladder muscles. Better is to keep your fluid intake as your normally would and have your urologist measure your PVR in the office using a bladder scanner or catheter. They still may ask you to drink water to hurry along the process but again, really bettter to wait it out and go when you feel the need without artifically loading up your bladder. Perhaps one glass of water is OK, but no more. If they give you a hard time, just explain that you want the PVR to be based on your normal fluid intake, and you don't mind waiting. If they still give you a hard time, maybe try another urologist. 

    Once you have confirmed that you have a high PVR, say over 250 as a subjective ball park, then you can begin a self cath program which will both help prevent UTI's but also protect your kidneys, and of course it will empty your bladder completely. 

    In order to rehab your bladder try and keep your bladder volume under 400ml at all times. You can measure volumes with a 500ml plastic beaker found at supermarkets. Bladder volume would be the total of what you void naturally and what comes out of the catheter. If it's over 400ml, then increase your cath schedule. If it's less than 150ml, decrease your cath schedule. If you get to the point where it's under 150ml with only one self cath a day, you could probably stop self cathing with periodic checks.

    Catheter size is only one element in terms of feeling pain or soreness. How long have you been cathing? For the first few weeks it's normal to feel sore, have pain, bleeding, false urgency, etc., regardless of what size catheter you use. So if you're just beginning, wait it out. 

    Perhaps equally important to catheter size is the type of catheter. Many here, including myself, recommend the Coloplast Speedicath with Hydophillic coating. It requires no external lubricant. It's very slippery and therefore very little friction. 

    You probably should start with FR14 because they are the easiest to use. When you get used to them, try dropping down to FR12 which are more flexible and take a little more finesse to use. Rule of thumb is to use the smallest size catheter that you can pass into your bladder but I would not go smaller than FR12. 

    With the Speedicath, many of of here use the "no touch" technique which is described in some of the cath threads.

    Good luck!

    Jim

    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up