Diapers or Pull-Ups? Which is right for you?

Of the many challenging health concerns which a person can deal with over the course of their lives, few are as inconvenient and sensitive as incontinence. Many people associate incontinence with advanced age, but that is hardly a requirement for the condition. Injuries, illness, and other factors can all contribute to varying degrees of incontinence. In adjusting to life with incontinence, many patients will find that an already difficult situation can be further complicated by the sheer wealth of options that exist to mitigate the symptoms. The most immediate question that patients and their caregivers will encounter is whether diapers or pull-ups are best for their individual needs.

The Case for Diapers

Many people equate incontinence treatment most strongly with adult disposable briefs, sometimes referred to as diapers. They often offer the highest degree of absorbency of all available incontinence products, making them an excellent choice for patients with heavy or severe incontinence. They are adjusted on the sides using wings, a belt-like component, or most commonly, tabs. By using this adjustability, diapers can be tailored to a specific patient’s size and comfort. Diapers are frequently used in cases where a patient may have a caregiver, or be immobilized in some way. This is because diapers can be removed and changed without the need to remove pants or other clothing. This added convenience can make frequent changes more accommodating for both the patient and caregiver if they have one.

The Case for Pull-Ups

For patients who are more mobile and with light to moderate incontinence, many people will opt for adult disposable pull ups, also called disposable underwear. Pull-ups function much in the way that traditional undergarments do, and can be pulled on over the legs and worn just like underwear. Since pants, shoes, and other clothing must be removed to change pull-ups, they are recommended for patients who do not need to change their incontinence products as frequently. Many patients who experience only intermittent incontinence will find that disposable pull ups are a great option for times when they cannot quickly make it to a bathroom. Most pull up products have an elastic waistband for comfort and fit, making wearing them much less of an adjustment since they function much like normal undergarments.

What to do now?

Unfortunately, many people think that incontinence is a blanket term and that most people diagnosed with it experience similar symptoms, but the reality is that every patient’s needs are highly specific. Not all incontinence products are created equal, both in the basic distinction between briefs and pull-ons, to the degree of absorbency. Many patients will unfortunately wear the same product for years, even though the state of their condition may evolve over time. By working with an experienced DME provider like Aeroflow Urology, you or your loved one can have access to information and services otherwise unavailable. Our trained representatives can contact you monthly to ship your incontinence products directly to your home. If you or someone you love is suffering from incontinence, don’t delay, contact Aeroflow Urology today at 844-276-5588 or fill out our Qualify Through Insurance form.

Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.

Living With Ostomy

Living with Ostomy

Any type of medical procedure which permanently alters the way a person’s body works requires a great deal of education, adjustment, and compromise. This is particularly true when the procedure involves something that most people prefer be one of the most discrete elements of their life. Various kinds of ostomy related procedures will require varying specific levels of care and maintenance. However, the one thing in common across all ostomy procedures, is that living with ostomy does not have to mean a dramatic compromise of quality of life, if handled properly.

Understanding Your Ostomy

One of the biggest issues with ostomy procedures is the sheer wealth of information of products, procedures, and methods of care that exist. Patients with ostomy procedures can find that wading through the many various pieces of renewable equipment, including bags, wafers, adhesive and more, can be daunting. For patients dealing with already difficult medical procedures, managing your own supply levels every month, as well as coordinating with what exactly your insurance will provide, can be overwhelming. By working with a full-service durable medical equipment provider like Aeroflow Healthcare, a great deal of the stress of life with ostomy products can be alleviated for patients and their caregivers.

Paying for Ostomy Supplies 

The most obvious difficulty of dealing with any renewable medical supplies would be the billing and insurance aspect. For a procedure such as an ostomy, which requires supplies to be replaced sometimes multiple times daily, and replenished monthly, navigating insurance filing, copays, and supply allowable amounts can be stressful. Aeroflow Healthcare is equipped to file medical claims with most major insurances, including working with Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and most other commercial plans. Our staff can educate you on how many of each ostomy supply type you qualify for each month, ensuring that you get the supplies you need and are entitled to under your insurance, in many cases at little or no cost to you.

Ostomy Supplies Management

The other major difficulty ostomy patient’s face is managing your supply levels for all the various parts of managing an ostomy system. Rather than managing your own supplies, dealing with shipping, and risking running out of ostomy supplies, Aeroflow Healthcare can take the headache out of this process. Our trained supply staff will record what products you are using, make recommendations if desired, and even call you when you are due under your insurance for new supplies. We will then ship your ostomy supplies directly to your door, with no added fee for shipping and handling. This will allow patients to maximize not only their insurance but their personal time. Products are delivered securely and discretely to your home, nationwide.

Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.

Live life to the fullest

Though ostomy procedures have been around for a very long time, the degree to which ostomy bags need can be discrete and conducive to normal everyday activity has made dramatic strides in recent years. Bags are now more discrete, durable, and have stronger deodorizing capabilities that can make them almost completely undetectable beneath clothing. Additionally, new compact bags and wafers, designed for active ostomy patients, can allow for vigorous physical activity and exercise, even swimming, without compromising the integrity of the bag or the seal itself. By being informed of these new advanced products by a durable medical supplier like Aeroflow Healthcare, patients living with ostomy can ensure that they are maximizing their quality of life.

Ostomy procedures can be a major lifestyle adjustment for both patients and caregivers, but they do not have to mean compromising your quality of life. While the circumstances requiring an ostomy cannot be controlled, the amount of effort required for patients and their caregivers can be managed. Dealing with a licensed, experienced, reputable company like Aeroflow Healthcare can take a great deal of the stress and hardship out of the process. If you or someone you know has a colostomy, ileostomy, or any other procedure requiring ostomy supplies, don’t delay! Contact Aeroflow Healthcare today and help get back on the road to independence and quality of life.

Catheterizing in Public Restrooms

Catheterizing in Public Restrooms

The process of adjusting to life with intermittent catheter use can be a major lifestyle adjustment for any patient, as well as their loved ones and caretakers. It can be a time-consuming, uncomfortable process, particularly at first, even in a patient’s home, with all supplies at hand and a feeling of sterility. However, the reality is, many patients who utilize catheters must frequently be out and about, living their normal lives, regardless of their medical conditions. Because of this fact, the process of catheterizing in a public restroom is a very important one to master. Though it can be a source of anxiety for patients, with proper preparation and education, catheterizing in public restrooms can be only marginally more difficult than doing so in the comfort of your own home.

There are two main issues that are the primary barriers to catheterizing in a public restroom. The first is having all the necessary supplies on hand in order to do so properly. Catheters, particularly male catheters, can consume a good deal of space. Many are too long to easily fit in a pocket or even a normal sized purse. Coupled with any sterilization and lubrication supplies, and it can be cumbersome to carry all the necessary supplies to properly catheterize in a public restroom. This can lead to patients skipping catheterization and trying to hold out until they get home, which can lead to bladder damage and other serious complications. Patients should always catheterize at the same frequency as their physician recommends. Many men find that carrying catheters and supplies in a briefcase can be helpful, as well as providing a hard surface on which to place the supplies during catheterization. For women, folding catheters into a U-shape can help them accommodate varying sizes of purses. Additionally, there are compact catheters available and intended for discretion and space, depending on your insurance and medical qualifications, such as the Coloplast Speedicath.

The other main obstacle to properly catheterizing in a public restroom is the aspect of sterility and hygiene. Complications such as urinary tract infections (UTI’s) can be one risk of catheterization, as the process can introduce bacteria directly into the body if not done properly and safely. Obviously, public restrooms are much less hygienic than the restroom in your home. The first and most obvious line of defense in avoiding health complications due to catheterizing in a public restroom is frequent, thorough handwashing. After washing hands, patients should make their way to a stall or private area in order to actually catheterize. Pushing and pulling with your elbow or foot can help preserve the sanitation of your hands. Patients should utilize a drape, paper towel, or some other more sanitary surface to place their supplies on. Many catheter systems can include these supplies or convenient alternatives. For example, Hollister catheters have an adhesive dot on the side of the catheter, enabling patients to stick the outer packaging of the catheter to any surface, while preserving the sanitation of the catheter itself. Gloves, if available, can be a great second line of defense for patients catheterizing in public restrooms. If a patient’s catheter includes a grip or guide strip, this should be utilized, so as not to touch the catheter tube itself which can lead to contamination.

If patients prepare properly and take a heightened degree of caution, catheterizing in public restrooms does not need to be a source of anxiety. With advances in medical technology and a trusted supplier on your side, you can utilize a catheterization program without sacrificing any quality of life. With an experienced supplier like Aeroflow Healthcare on your side, you never have to worry about dealing with insurance, learning about supplies, or picking up your supplies in a store.

Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.

Diapers or Pull-Ups? Which is Right For Me?

Of the many challenging health concerns that a person may deal with over the course of their life, few are as inconvenient and sensitive as incontinence. In adjusting to life with incontinence, many patients will find that their already difficult situation can be further complicated by the sheer wealth of options that exist to mitigate the symptoms of incontinence. This is true even in the category of disposable underwear products.

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What is an External Catheter?

In exploring options to deal with urinary incontinence, many patients find the use of intermittent catheters to be a daunting prospect. The use of incontinence products, in general, can be a great adjustment for patients who have conditions which necessitate their use. For men, due to possible physiological obstructions and difficulties, intermittent self-catheterization can be particularly intimidating. In cases such as this, many men will explore options which do not require traditional catheterization.

What is an External Catheter

The external or condom catheter is a considerably less invasive form of catheterization than most intermittent catheter systems. Condom catheters use a latex or rubber shell to encase the tip of the penis and connect directly to a drain bag most commonly strapped to the inner thigh. Because no part of the catheter enters the patient’s urethra, there is considerably less risk of damage to the urethra, as well as infection which can stem from improper hygiene practices during catheterization. In fact, a 2006 study by the American Journal of Geriatrics found that patients utilizing external or condom catheters were nearly 40% less likely to develop a UTI than compared with those patients on a program of intermittent catheterization.

One of the most common concurrent health concerns for men with urinary incontinence is an enlarged prostate. This condition can make standard straight intermittent catheters nearly impossible to utilize with any degree of success. Many men may even find the coude tip catheter, which is often prescribed for just such a complication, to be difficult to successfully insert multiple times a day. For patients who have difficulty with the process, the convenience and ease of an external catheter may be preferable.

One of the main benefits of external catheterization is discretion and convenience. Because they must be changed considerably less frequently than most types of intermittent catheters, condom catheters can greatly reduce overall trips to the bathroom for patients utilizing them. Whereas many types of intermittent catheters must be changed multiple times a day, condom catheters are changed most often once daily. Catheterization can often require patients to plan ahead in order to ascertain discrete and sanitary locations for them to catheterize. This can be particularly cumbersome when traveling or attending long events such as sporting events or conferences. In cases such as these, the larger volume of a condom catheter and the ease of utilizing it without as much upkeep and maintenance can make external catheters very appealing.

Urinary incontinence can be a major life adjustment, but it does not have to be painful, difficult, or embarrassing. When supported and educated properly, many patients can maintain their previous quality of life even when utilizing catheter products. Men with urinary incontinence should consider the possibility of external catheter use even sporadically when conditions such as travel or events necessitate it.

Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.

Qualifying for Catheters Through Insurance

Catheters through Insurance

When considering the prospect of urinary catheterization, it is not unusual for patients to feel overwhelmed when dealing with the insurance side of treatment. As patients struggle with their own health problems, they also experience the stress of navigating pages of sometimes conflicting and complex information. The most common question patients may find themselves asking is just how the process to qualify for catheters through insurance works. Thankfully, patients need not struggle through this process alone, as Aeroflow Healthcare can be right there with you every step of the way.

Step 1: Getting a Prescription

The process to initiate obtaining catheter supplies is very similar across all forms of insurance. The first and most crucial piece of documentation required will be a doctor’s order or prescription. This will need to include the patient’s name, a description of the type of catheter recommended for the patient, as well as a recommended monthly quantity.  Finally, the order will need to be signed and dated by the patient’s prescribing physician.

Step 2: Finding a Supplier

Once this order is obtained, the patient can work with a durable medical equipment provider to have their order filled. There are a wide variety of catheter products on the market today, and even when patients have obtained their written order, there can still be some questions as to which specific catheter is right for their unique needs. Aeroflow Healthcare can assist with making the right choice, and ensuring prompt delivery of each and every future catheter supply order patients will need.

Step 3: Adjusting Your Prescription 

In many cases, particularly when first adjusting to the process of catheterization, patients will find that they may exceed the number of catheters per month originally prescribed in their physician’s order. This can be due to a number of factors, but often times is due to the fact that intermittent catheters are not reusable, and patients new to the treatment may experience difficulty in catheterizing. As a result of this difficulty, patients may use up their monthly allotment too quickly.

While Medicare, for example, will cover up to 200 single use intermittent catheters per month, this amount is often not initially prescribed by physicians. Any increase or adjustment to a patient’s catheter supplies will of course require documentation in order to obtain proper coverage and reimbursement from insurance. This can, of course, create further stress for patients who may already be exhausted of navigating insurance hurdles, in addition to their own health concerns.

Step 4: Stick With The Supplier Who Supports You

This possible hurdle is one of many reasons patients should consider obtaining their supplies from a durable medical equipment provider, like Aeroflow Healthcare. In cases where quantities may need to be increased, or products adjusted or changed, Aeroflow Healthcare can assist patients by working with both your physician and your insurance company.

Our experienced customer service team can streamline the process of getting required documentation for your catheter needs, so that patients can focus on successfully complying with their treatment. If you wish to talk to a representative about your existing catheter prescription, or if you are curious about urinary catheterizaiton, fill out our Qualify Through Insurance form or call 844-276-5588.

While it may be possible to find medical products such as catheters slightly cheaper on cash pay websites, patients will be without an experienced and professional support system that a company like Aeroflow Healthcare can provide. Before beginning your path to an increased quality of life through catheter usage, contact Aeroflow Healthcare today so we can assist you every step of the way.

Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.

Choosing the Right Urinary Catheter

Types of Catheters

Urinary catheters are a complex and diverse group of medical products. While they all serve a similar ultimate purpose, the specific needs and demands of each individual patient can lead to some confusion as to which product is right for them. Patients who are considering catheterization as a solution for urinary incontinence should exercise diligence in choosing the right urinary catheter for their lifestyle and health requirements.

Intermittent Catheters

By far the most common type of catheter is the Intermittent Catheter. Medicare will cover up to 200 of these single-use, disposable catheters each month, allowing for frequent catheterization. These are available in both straight tip and coude tip varieties. The straight tip is the most frequently used of these two due to the fact that Medicare requires patients demonstrate a medical necessity that specifies the use of a coude tipped Intermittent Catheter. This need will arise from specific patient anatomy which makes straight tip catheter insertion difficult or impossible. This is especially true in men who have an enlarged prostate, where the curved coude tip catheter is the only choice for insertion into the bladder.

Hydrophilic Catheters

As insertion can be one of the main barriers to appropriate catheter use, Aeroflow Healthcare recommends that patients use a hydrophilic catheter. Hydrophilic catheters are lubricated with sterile water rather than gel, more closely mimicking our body’s own natural fluids. This produces greater ease of catheter insertion, helping encourage patients to catheterize whenever the need arises, leading to greater compliance with catheter treatment.

Indwelling (Foley) Catheters

Beyond simple intermittent catheters, there are also Indwelling, or Foley, Catheters. This type of catheter is replaced monthly, usually with the aid of a licensed medical professional. As with Intermittent Catheters, these are available in both the straight tip and coude tip varieties. Again, patients who can demonstrate a specific medical need will often opt for the curved coude tip version of a Foley Catheter as they tend to be easier to insert for many people. The obvious advantage of Foley Catheters is that the frequent process of catheterization must be repeated much less often. For patients with a more active lifestyle that can make frequent catheter insertion difficult, Indwelling Catheters can be a good option. This type of catheter is also frequently utilized for a preset period of time, such as after a surgery which can lead to urinary incontinence, since the catheter can be inserted by a doctor or nurse while the patient is already in their care. Foley Catheters are also available in a silicone version which enables patients with a documented latex allergy to avoid any unpleasant reactions to catheterization.

External (Condom) Catheters

For men, Condom Catheters are yet another option for urinary incontinence. Rather than being inserted directly into the urethra as with Foley and Intermittent Catheters, a Condom Catheter is used externally on the penis. Medicare provides for up to 30 of these catheters a month. As they can help avoid the sometimes difficult process of catheterization almost entirely, this can be a popular choice for men who have had difficulty with traditional Intermittent Catheters.

Closed System Catheters

Finally, for patients with very specific sets of medical criteria, Medicare will cover a Closed or Sterile Catheter System. While this system is more complex and thus expensive, it will significantly reduce the likelihood of urinary tract infections, by far the most common consequence of catheter use. If patients already on traditional Intermittent Catheters have had at least 2 urinary infections in the past 12 months, Medicare will cover a closed system. Additionally, patients in nursing homes, immunosuppressed patients, patients with vesico-uteral reflux, and spinal cord injured pregnant female patients can also qualify for this system.

Navigating the complex decision of which catheter is right for your personal needs should be a collaborative decision between the patient, doctor, and their medical equipment provider. Navigating the middle ground between medical necessity and patient requirements can be a complicated affair. For more information on the different types of catheters, visit our products page.

If you are in need of catheters, fill out our Qualify Through Insurance form and talk to a representative about your specific needs. You may qualify to receive your catheters through Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance at little to no cost to you. Contact Aeroflow Healthcare today in order to make an informed decision on your personal catheter needs, and measurably improve your quality of life.

Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.