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What is a Coude tip catheter?

A coudé tip catheter is a variety of intermittent or foley catheter that is mainly available in male length (typically about 16 inches on average to accommodate for the length of the male urethra). When the prostate swells, it pinches the urethra, making it especially difficult to insert the catheter all the way into the bladder because of the blockage that is created. This is where a coude catheter comes into play.

Coude is the French word for elbow. Much like an elbow, the coude catheter has a slight bend in it. This bend allows for an easier insertion into the urethra and an easier navigation around the prostate and finally into the bladder.

Coudé catheters are manufactured in all of the main catheter materials, including vinyl or PVC, silicone, and red rubber latex to name a few. You can get a coudé tip in most every common catheter type as well, from basic uncoated intermittent catheters, pediatric sizes, hydrophilic catheters, pre-lubricated catheters, and closed system catheters.

Most common reasons to use a Coude Catheter:

  • Enlarged prostate (or benign prostatic hyperplasia, almost known as BPH)
  • Prior prostate surgery
  • False passages in the urethra or a stoma
  • Radiation in the pelvic area to treat cancer
  • Those with urinary stricture disease or urethral trauma


Hydrophilic Catheters
Hydrophilic catheters are coated with a hydrophilic polymer that becomes very slippery when wet to promote excellent gliding properties and provides lower friction when compared to other catheters. The result is a much more comfortable insertion.

Closed System Catheters
Closed system catheters are pre-lubricated catheters that are self contained, allowing for a sterile environment. It includes an introducer tip that allows the catheter to bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria located in the first few millimeters of the urethra, significantly reducing the risk of infection. Closed system catheters have an attached collection bag which allows for discreet catherizing where facilities are not available and also has the ability to measure output.



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