Catheter Questations?

11 years 3 months ago #42843 by GroundedFlyer
Replied by GroundedFlyer on topic Catheter Questations?
Thanks Mike. As always your post is right on topic and helpful. I hadn't thought about the mucus which hasn't been much of an issue for me lately. I have insurance to cover them but believe I'll try an assortment of sizes to find out what works best for me before committing to a case quantity.

Again thanks for the quick response. We'd be lost without you.


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11 years 3 months ago - 11 years 3 months ago #42832 by mmc
Replied by mmc on topic Catheter Questations?

This is WAY easier than it first seems. I was totally freaked out about the concept of it when I got my neobladder. Now however, I have to cath every time I go.

I use a 16 French. When I first started, I got 14 French but it wasn't quite as effective or as fast. I would not recommend anything smaller than the 14 Fr because the mucous buildup potential. You need big enough holes in there for the mucous to drain out.

I like the speed.

The first time you do it, it is going to be more uncomfortable just because you aren't used to putting something like that up there. However, you don't have a prostate anymore so it isn't going hurt.

Actually, if I recall correctly, it did hurt a little when I first did it. Maybe the first couple of times. Then I was more relaxed about the whole thing and I could probably put the catheter in with a full windup these days. No, I won't actually do to prove it though. :)

I get that it is WAY scary to think about and to do the first time. I made no public declarations about it but in my head I thought, "No way in hell am I ever going to stick that red rubber hose up there!"

Now, I kind of feel silly for being so worried about it.

I have no idea why they have up to size 34. Maybe that is for measuring tubing and they don't actually make "catheters" that size. I couldn't fit one of those up my nose, let alone any orifice that was going to reach my neobladder.

Let me know if there is anything else I can answer. I've been cathing every time for the past few years. I don't get mine through insurance. I buy mine online. I can send you link if you need. I get 100 at a time. I use one for a week, wash it thoroughly each time, and then I toss it.

Some people get them through insurance and get enough to use it once and then throw it away. If I traveled to some country where the water wasn't safe, I would do the once and done approach but around the U.S. on city water it's ok to wash them. My way seems more convenient to me because if I carried 5 or 6 for each day, that adds up and I travel a lot (as in almost every week) and they do cost a couple bucks each if you pay out of pocket.

My doc said some people even use them for a month and just boil them each week. Not my cup of tea so I just use the week and then toss.

I keep spares stashed in different place. One in the glove box of my car (swap it out ever few months so it doesn't get too old or messed up from heat), one in my briefcase, and a few in my carry on suitcase.

I use those half size sandwich bags to put the opened one in along with a little packet of surgical lube. One of those little packets lasts a day to a day and half. I typically toss the bag and use a new one each day. I just wash after use, put it all in the zip lock bag and carry the bag in my pocket.


Age 54
10/31/06 dx CIS (TisG3) non-invasive (at 47)
9/19/08 TURB/TUIP dx Invasive T2G3
10/8/08 RC neobladder(at 49)
2/15/13 T4G3N3M1 distant metastases(at 53)
9/2013 finished chemo -cancer free again
1/2014 ct scan results....distant mets
2/2014 ct result...spread to liver, kidneys, and lymph...

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11 years 3 months ago #42831 by GroundedFlyer
Catheter Questations? was created by GroundedFlyer
It’s looking more and more like I’m going to have to resort to self catheterization to help empty my neobladder. I’ve pushed and strained to void until I have muscle soreness and still feel the need to go 20 minutes later.

I’ve had the self catheter procedure demonstrated but still have anxiety about actually doing it.

I’m confused by catheter sizing. I know the Fr system is based on 1/3 mm so a size Fr 9 is 3 mm about 1/8th inch. That doesn’t seem so bad. The cystoscope is much larger than that and it only causes minor discomfort.

However, the scale goes up to Fr 34, which is just under a half inch in diameter. That's got to hurt.

So why the wide size range? I can understand that a smaller diameter means longer drain time but are there other factors I don’t know about?

Experiences, comments and opinions are welcomed.



P.S. I’m considering trying to get my flight physical back so only lack of money will keep me grounded.

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