Glossary Entry: Hydrophilic Catheter


Definition: A hydrophilic catheter is a medical device used for urinary catheterization, designed with a hydrophilic coating that becomes lubricated and slippery when exposed to water. This reduces friction and discomfort during insertion and removal, making it a preferred choice for patients with sensitive or trauma-prone urethras.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Hydrophilic catheters come in different lengths and diameters to accommodate various patient needs. Some may also feature additional insertion aids or packaging options for convenience.


Common Uses: Hydrophilic catheters are commonly used by patients with spinal cord injuries, neurogenic bladder dysfunction, or urinary retention. They can also be beneficial for individuals prone to urethral trauma or experiencing discomfort with traditional catheters.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: To use a hydrophilic catheter, the user should first open the packaging and activate the hydrophilic coating with sterile water. After lubrication, the catheter can be inserted into the urethra following standard catheterization techniques.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Risks associated with hydrophilic catheters include the possibility of urinary tract infections, urethral irritation, and allergic reactions to the hydrophilic coating.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: It is important to handle and store hydrophilic catheters according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent contamination or damage to the hydrophilic coating.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Lubricating gel, urinary drainage bags, and catheter insertion kits are often used in conjunction with hydrophilic catheters.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent innovations in hydrophilic catheter technology have focused on improving the durability and biocompatibility of the hydrophilic coating, as well as reducing the environmental impact of catheter production.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Hydrophilic catheters should be used in accordance with regulatory guidelines for medical devices, and healthcare professionals should be aware of proper catheterization protocols to ensure patient safety.