Important Medical Uses of External Condom Catheter

External condom catheter is a type of catheter used for patients who cannot hold their urine. It is used by men. Instead of placing a tube over the penis, the catheter is placed over the penis, and a tube connecting to the urinary drainage bag is fixed.

This catheter is not invasive since there is no contact with the urethral mucosa.

The external catheter is measured by width, especially in millimeters, ranging from small (25 mm) to extra-large (41 mm).

An ideal male external catheter should be leak-free, does not cause skin irritation, easy to wear and remove, odorless, anti-kinking, comfortable to wear, channel the urine to the drainage bag effectively.

Other names for condom catheter include male external catheter (MEC), body worn urinal, urisheath, condom drainage system, or penile sheath.

The catheter can be made from materials such as silicone (most used material), polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, and latex (latex is now rarely used because of allergic reactions). The two major types of condom catheter are self -adhering and foam strap models.

Uses of Condom Catheter

They shape condom catheter just like the condom with a tube connected to a urine bag (urinary drainage bag). It has its use in emptying the bladder in patients with urinary incontinence (UI) in conditions such as prostatectomy, recent surgery, spinal cord injuries.

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They also use it as a last resort when other devices and methods such as intermittent catheterisation, absorbent pads, penile compression device, male sling, indwelling catheter, artificial urethral sphincter are unsuitable.

Other conditions where they use condom catheter are overactive bladder with urge urinary continence, UI in men with neurological disorders and neuromuscular syndromes, UI in men with poor mobility, dementia, impaired cognition or vision, extensive urethral stricture disease.

They do not use this catheter in patients with a known presence of high pressure chronic retention.

Complications can arise from the use of external condom catheter. They include allergic reactions, urinary tract infection.

How to Apply the Condom Catheter

We can only use this type of catheter for a full day interval, after which they must change it. While using a condom catheter, you should not apply cream, ointment or lotion to the penis. It is not advisable to shave completely while using a condom catheter to avoid irritation.

  • Wash your hand properly with water and soap. Wear your disposable gloves.
  • If the patient is putting on any condom catheter already, roll it off the penis. Do not pull it out to avoid injury to the skin.
  • Use soapy water to wash the penis, and rinse with wet cloth. Roll the foreskin back (uncircumcised people) and clean the head of the penis well. Make sure you dry the penis well.
  • Using the funnel-shaped end and roll up the condom. Place the funnel end of the condom catheter over the penis.
  • Roll the condom smoothly all the way from the head to the base of the penis. Give at least 1 to 2 inch space between the condom catheter and the penis tip. This will prevent the catheter from irrigating the penis.
  • If the condom is a self-adhesive type, hold it in place for about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • If it is not a self-adhesive condom, use the condom holder to wrap one inch above the penis. To make sure the strap is not too tight, pull it over one finger.
  • Fasten the condom holder, and connect the condom catheter to a urine bag (either leg bag or bedside urine bag)
  • They must not position the drainage bag above the patient, but in a lower position.
  • Endeavour to change the catheter after every 24 hours interval.
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How to Remove the Condom Catheter

  • Use water and soap to clean your hands. Wear your disposable gloves.
  • Use a warm wet washcloth over the catheter to help and weaken the adhesive material.
  • Mildly release the silicone material at the base of the penis before rolling down the catheter.
  • Remove the connecting tube and the drainage bag.
  • Use an alcohol-based solution to wipe the tip of the tube before you can connect to a new condom catheter.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water.

Watch a video on how to apply a condom catheter.

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