I'd Like To Ask Users Of fr12 Catheters Something

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This past Friday I was instructed in the use of catheter by my UR so I could self cath.  This first time, in the doctors offices, everthing went great.  So great in fact that I peed regular for the rest of Friday  into evening when things slowed down.

Later that night I self cathed but it was nowhere near as easy as in the doctors office.  My doctor had prescribed for me a fr 14 with a curved tip.

I'm getting ahead of myself.  I had a green light laser on April 7 that was a success but still wasn't voiding as I should.  We dtermined that my bladder nuscles were not up to snuff.

The plan was that I self cath while trying to bring my bladder back from limbo.

Getting back to now:  Saterday morning I cathed again with considerably difficulty and pain.

Later inthe day, the afternoon, I tried to urinate without cathing. I went a little bit but passed a big BLOOD CLOT!  I called the covering doctor from my doctors UR group and he said "If you can't cath tonight (Saterday) then your ONLY option is an ER."

because this is a holiday week end.

It turned out to be the case.  I tried to cath but it was like I was being stabbed with a knife.  The ER also detected the presence of blood and infection.

I think the problem is threefold.  1. The size of the catheter (14)

2. The type (curved tip) and 3. My urinary track was raw and inflamed to begin with from previous foleys.

I'd like to hear from you #12 users. Did you notice sgnificant improvement when you went to a fr 12?

I'd really like to hear any advice you may want to share.

Thank you'

Tom

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Tom,  I'm interloping here, as I don't use the coude (curved) tip, and I use a 14; please forgive me jumping in!  :-)  I was sent a box of 14 coudes by (their) mistake when I was a newbie, before I found my choice of solutios (Urolift).  I used the whole damn' box, before elarning of their error.  The tips hurt like hell; the straight ones don't hurt at all.  Maybe try out the straights for comparison?
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  • Posted

    fr14 is 4.7mm diameter and fr12 is 4.0mm so fr14 and fr12 are different. Not a lot, but there is mostly a difference in how readily they bend. This flexibility is important as there is some quite steep turns in the urethra. BUT the most likely source of your problem lies in the curved tip. If you have already had a green light laser, it is difficult to see why you were given a coude tip, since this is usually for when there is positive restriction from the prostate being narrowed down to a Y shaped channel, and the pointed tip allows this to be much more readily kind of 'shouldered aside' as you go through.

    First things first, a coude tip MUST be used the right way round, it tilts to one side, and the way you insert it is with the tilt towards your body. Hold your right hand down your body, first finger extended, then point towards your penis. That is how it looks.  Put it in the wrong way, and you will be scraping that point into your urethra wall all the way round. Painful.

    Second thing is you will have recently had a much thicker tube straight up the urethra for a considerable time (the laser), and this really damages the delicate urethra lining, which will respond by swelling or even being torn. That is much the same as still having BHP, but should subside reasonably quickly, at which point I would advise you to go to a normal tip, not a coude tip.

     

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    • Posted

      I would say go for fr12 for the extra flexibility. You still have not said what make you have. It is really a simple fact that Coloplast speedicaths are the best in nearly all ways you can think of,

      I  use speedicath fr12 coude (have BHP), and also use Lofic Oigo when out and about because the latter have a clever folding scheme when used, where you can tie a kind of knot and slip the end into a ready-made slot to retain it. 

      Speedicaths also can be folded. The flat side of the aluminised case  has three horizontal lines printed across, the third is a third of the way down.  You place your thumb over that line and fold the package into three, keeping the flat sides together. Then kind of wring the whole thing between your two hands like wringing out a towel and the metallic package stays twisted up.

      In both cases empty the lubricant soution out before folding

      !!

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    • Posted

      The catheters I have are made by GentleCath supplied by 180 Medical.  180 Medical does not make catheters, they supply them.

      I let my doctor take charge in selecting and ordering.  A bad move probably but what did I know? All this was new to me.

      I will never use a curved tip again!

      Tom

      Tom

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  • Posted

    When I had urine retention once, the A & E doc had trouble inserting a Foley 12, - too flexible - so he called the duty urologist who successfully used a 14. Sometimes, it seems, the wider, thicker, tube, being stiffer, can get through constriction better. However, I've successfully self-cathed with only a 12. Guess it depends on the cause of the onstruction?
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    • Posted

      What I would like ist to try a few 14s and 12s, both with straight tips to see which works best for me.

      Tom

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    • Posted

      Um, just looked up gentlecath. Hydrophilic thats good, need to activate before use is bad. Allow a good minute to soak in the solution,

      and tip it all upside down at least twice. Thats why speedicath are best. They dont have ANY prep time, and are 100% lubed all the time.

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    • Posted

      One other thing. Discard that handling device before use (loose collar) it is utterky useless. One hand for you penis at the upright angel, hold the catherer by its funnel, and just drop it in. You need three hands as supplied !!!
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    • Posted

      I keep reading that self cathing becomes 1-2=3 done...no sweat!

      But from my vantage point now I can't see it.

      Tom

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    • Posted

      Sorry this is so tough for you Tom!   I have not met a urologist who has ever self-cathed!  They do not know what it is like, and have learned from textbooks, or other doctors.  I've cathed over 2,000 times.  SUrely true of some of the others.  You figure out what works, and I'll suggest you try our suggestions.  They may work, or you may even come up with a better way (!).  

      Easiest I've found, using SpeediCaths ("accept no substitutes!"  :-)  ), is to open the pack, clean the penis-head with alcohol patch or similar, hold penis with tip pointing skyward, remove cath from pack (by the green funnel end).  NO NEED TO TOUCH THE PRE-LUBED TUBE!!!  With fingers away from the tip (in case the cath doesn't drop right in, you DON'T want it to touch your fingers!), aim the tube for that little opening, and begin the insertion.  I've been advised to pull on the penis some; for some reason, it seems to work better that way, at least for this cowboy.  I use the 14s.  WHen I pass into the bladder, there is 1 inch pf tube remaining outside and visible.

      QED!  Just give it time, patience, practice.  I doubt any of us were good at it at the beginning; I certainly wasn't!  But within a few months, I was a regualr "Cathing-Meister!"  :-)

       

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  • Posted

    I don't think the problem is the size of the catheter. Assuming you are using the catheter properly, everything you describe falls within the norm during the first few weeks except maybe the sharp pain which may be a combination of your urethra being raw from the Foley and the infection. In fact, I had a similar experience the first couple of weeks.  Of course the infection must be treated, so I assume you're on a course of antibiotics now? As to the "curved" tip, make sure that you are inserting it correctly. There should be a notch on the plastic handle. If you are cathing standing up, and if you pull your penis up toward the ceiling (recomended) while inserting the catheter, then the notch should be facing your belly. In this position, the curved tip would also be curved toward your body. 

    What type of catheter are you using. A number of us here recommend the Coloplast Speedicath. It's a hydrophillic catheter meaning no external lubricant is needed. 

    I would not suggest starting with a #12 because they are very flexible and therefore not as easy to insert (without practice) as the 14. In most cases FR14 is the one to start with.

    For some, self cathing is easy from the beginning. For others, like myself, it is a trying experience for the first few weeks but things rapidly improve to the point where it's about as quick and painless as brushing your teeth.

    Jim

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    • Posted

      I would not dump the coude as some have suggested without first consulting with your doctor. The coude is designed to go around the mail prostate. Without the coude you run the risk of sticking the prostate which is not so good. A cath rep told me that in Europe, all men are prescribed coude catheters and only here in America do they prescribe straights. It is possible that the particular coude you tried is not a good fit for your anatomy.Try the Coloplast Speedicath Coude (FR14) before going to a straight. That's what I use and I have no pain whatsover.

      Jim

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