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Coudé Catheters

Coudé Catheters

Coudé catheters are a common type of urinary catheter.

Coudé catheters are named so because of their uniquely curved tip. The word “coudé” directly translates to “bend” in French. These bent catheter tips are used in conjunction with hollow catheter tubing that is sized according to your unique individual needs. While often the tips of catheters are straight, coudé catheter tips are used when a person’s anatomy does not allow for the passage of a straight tip due to a blockage.

While this catheter style is in a category all its own, there are also different variations of it. In fact, there are three types of coudé catheters:

Olive Tip: When there’s a “false passage” situation in the urethra due to trauma, an Olive tipped coudé catheter is often used. Olive tips are rounded with a curve; this allows for smoother catheter passage without the possibility of it catching and causing injury.

Tiemann Tip: When there’s a narrower passage, Tiemann coudé catheters are helpful. Tiemann tips are tapered, longer, and are generally more flexible, which makes them perfect for navigating blockages more comfortably.

Tapered Tip: The curve on tapered tip coudé catheters is shorter and more pronounced. This type of catheter tip is useful in situations where patients have conditions such as prostate enlargement.

Image showing a doctor discussing chart notes with the patient. Reviewing coude catheter usage with your doctor is important

When Are Coudé Catheters Used?

The use of a coudé catheter has a lot to do with anatomy and medical reasons. While straight catheters will work in many situations, coudé catheters are used when there’s blockages or other medical determinants. Coudé catheters are most commonly used for men, but can be called for with any of the following medical conditions:

  • False urethral or stoma passages
  • Pelvic radiation
  • History of prostate surgery
  • History of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
  • History of urethral traumas
  • Atrophic vagina in females
Image of a man seated with hands clasped. To ensure optimal use and comfort, always discuss your coude catheter use with your doctor.

Benefits of Using a Coudé Catheter

When catheters are medically necessary, coudé tips can come in handy depending on certain anatomical and medical factors, such as those listed above. But there are also certain advantages of using a coudé catheter, such as:

  • Known to provide easier insertion, depending on blockage and curvature of urethra
  • Provides enhanced comfort upon insertion for many patients
  • Some patients experience less friction when inserting a coudé catheter due to the bent tip

Disadvantages of Using a Coudé Catheter

Coudé catheters don’t work best for every patient. Just as a coudé catheter has it’s benefits, it also has its disadvantages that are important for patients to be aware of. These disadvantages can include:

  • Difficulty inserting due to the tip placement requiring continuous upward placement
  • Some coudé tips require more lubrication than other catheter styles
  • Coudé catheters require slower insertion, which some patients may find inconvenient
  • Not all self-cath users can navigate coudé tips correctly around blockages in the prostate

Using Coudé Catheters

Inserting a coudé catheter is much the same as a straight catheter, however, it’s important that it’s placed correctly. Safe placement of your urinary catheter ensures that you will not only be as comfortable as possible, but also helps to prevent serious health complications and infection. That being said, your physician or healthcare professional will help train you on using coudé catheters and determine the best and easiest way for you to place them yourself. It’s important that you always consult with your healthcare professional first when using a new medical device such as a coudé catheter as complications can occur with improper use.

Following proper training on coudé catheter insertion, keep these tips in mind going forward for optimal use and care:

  • Always ensure the catheter is covered with a water-soluble lubricant for safe and easy insertion.
  • Never force the coudé catheter in if you feel resistance. This can cause severe pain and damage to your urethra.
  • Ensure your cath site and your hands are clean and sanitary. Always wash your hands immediately before and after inserting your catheter for best sanitation practice.
  • If the coudé catheter ever feels uncomfortable once in place, contact your physician to discuss other catheter options.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your physician right away as these could be signs of infection or other issues:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pain
  • Skin sores or lesions around the catheter
  • Bleeding around or inside the catheter
  • Recurring bladder spasms
  • Sediment inside the catheter bag
  • Urethral swelling
  • Strong smelling, thick, or cloudy urine
  • Too little urine output
  • Urine leakage around the site of the catheter
Image of smiling couple outside

Why Active Life Medical?

When you’re prescribed coudé catheters, you want to deal with a provider that understands your unique needs and who can help you navigate your insurance to get the right supplies when you need them. When catheters are an essential part of your health and medical care, it’s important that you have the help of a medical supply company you can trust and rely on. This is why more patients are choosing Active Life Medical for their urinary catheter needs.

When you call Active Life Medical, you get a team of  knowledgeable customer service representatives who are expertly trained on urinary catheters and insurance billing. Our representatives will work to make the process of getting the coudé catheter supplies you need fast, easy, and affordable. We’ll guide you through the process from A-to-Z, including:

  • Coordinating with your doctors and healthcare providers to gather the necessary paperwork needed for your coudé catheters
  • Finding the right catheter that meets your prescribed medical needs
  • Billing your coudé catheter supply directly to your insurance
  • Expertly answering any questions you have pertaining to catheters or the insurance process
  • Delivering to straight to your door quickly and discreetly

We have one of the largest catheter selections of any medical supplier and work with all of the top brands, meaning you’ll only get quality catheters when you’re with Active Life Medical. Plus, when prescribed by a medical professional and deemed medically necessary, coudé catheters can be covered at no cost to you by Medicare, Medicaid, and most healthcare insurances nationwide.

Active Life Medical’s team of customer service experts are standing by to help get you the catheters you need at little to no cost to you. Let us help. Give us a call at 800-319-2336 today so we can help get the process started. 

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