What Are Coudé Catheters?

Coudé catheters, sometimes called bent tip catheters or Tiemann catheters, are a type of intermittent urinary catheter that features a curved tip.

Coudé tips are curved at an angle, which makes insertion into the urethra easier for those who have difficulty passing a straight catheter through their bladder, typically those with enlarged prostate (BPH) or urethral blockage.

Aside from the curved tip, coudé catheters are essentially the same as straight intermittent catheters, which are small, hollow, flexible tubes that are used to empty urine from the bladder.

Coudé catheters can either be inserted into the bladder through the urethra, or through a special surgical opening called a stoma that connects the bladder to the outside of the body.

There are two main components of a coudé catheter:

– Insertion end: contains oval-shaped holes called eyelets that allow urine to pass in through the bladder

– Non-insertion end: usually contains a plastic funnel that allows urine to drain into a collection device (toilet bowl, urine bag, etc.)

Who Needs To Use A Coudé Catheter?

 

Coudé catheters are often prescribed to individuals who have difficulty inserting a regular straight catheter into their urethra due to urethral blockage, scar tissue, strictures, false passages, or enlarged prostate. These conditions are most commonly seen in men, but can affect women as well.

Some common reasons why a coudé catheter might be needed include:

  • Benign prostatic hyperlasia (BPH), commony known as enlarged prostate
  • False passages in the urethra or stoma
  • Urinary stricture disease or prior urethral trauma
  • Scarring from prior prostate surgery
  • Radiation treatment for prostate/bladder cancer

If you are currently using catheters but are having trouble inserting and/or are experiencing pain/discomfort, it is best to consult with your urologist to discuss your catheter options. If needed, your doctor will be able to prescribe you with a coudé catheter.

What Are The Different Types Of Coudé Catheters Available?

 

There are a few different types of coudé tips, differentiated by the angle and length of the curved tip. The different types include:

– Tapered Tip coudé catheters are the traditional and most common type of coudé catheters. It is characterized by a short, strong curve that’s slightly smaller at the insertion point, allowing the catheter to more easily bypass enlarged prostates or navigating through strictures.

Tiemann Tip coudé catheters feature a longer tapered tip, and is usually more flexible than other coudé tips. The pliability allows for better navigation in urethral strictures, which can make catheterizing more comfortable.

Olive Tips are a shorter, ball-shaped tip that can get help get around obstructions to the bladder, such as false passages, which standard tapered and Tiemann tips may be restricted to.

How Do You Use A Straight Catheter?

 

Unlike regular straight catheters, coudé catheters require the tip of the catheter to be oriented in the right direction (curve up) for proper insertion. Many coudé catheters feature a guide stripe as Before starting intermittent catheterization with a coudé catheter,  your healthcare professional will provide you with instructions and/or educational materials about how to use a catheter.

The most important part about self-catheterization (whether using a straight or coudé tip) is to maintain proper hygiene:

1. Wash hands with soap and water, and dry thoroughly. If not available, use an antibacterial hand sanitizer.

2. Gently clean insertion area using a non-alcohol based antiseptic wipe.

3. Open the catheter package and lubricate the catheter (if not pre-lubricated).

4. Position yourself comfortably. Angle the coudé tip and insert into the urethra. Gently slide the catheter forward until you reach the bladder — you will feel some resistance when you reach the bladder sphincter. Continue to insert until urine starts to flow.

5. Once urine stops flowing and your bladder is empty, slowly withdraw and discard the catheter.

How Do I Know If I Need To Use A Coudé Catheter?

 

Coudé catheters are often prescribed by a doctor or urologist based on one’s personal physiology and needs, or when an individual finds it difficult to pass a regular straight catheter through to the bladder.

 

If you are currently using catheters but are having trouble inserting and/or are experiencing pain/discomfort, it is best to consult with your urologist to discuss your catheter options. If needed, your doctor will be able to prescribe you with a coudé catheter.

How Do I Get Coudé Catheters?

 

Like straight catheters, coude tip catheters are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances. If your doctor has determined that you should use coudé catheters, you will be given a prescription for your catheter supplies.

 

As there are many different brands and types of coudé catheters, you will have the opportunity to try out different catheters before deciding which is best for you. Samples can be obtained from your doctor’s office or you can go to this webpage on our site and get a free sample online.

 

Once you’ve determined which catheter is right for you, your prescription will be handed off to a medical supplier (DME) who will coordinate your billing, insurance, and delivery to your door.