Aeroflow Urology Blog

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.

Traveling with Catheters



For people learning to live with urinary incontinence, traveling with catheters can be one of the greatest adjustments. Some inherent logistics, as well as a great deal of misinformation, contributes to a feeling of inconvenience or uneasiness when patients consider the prospect of travel. However, with some good information and a reasonable degree of caution and preparation, patients need not feel intimidated by the prospect of traveling with urinary catheters.

Traveling with a Catheter



Keep it Clean


Hygiene is one of the chief concerns regarding travel with urinary catheters. The availability of sterile restrooms or areas to catheterize, as well as the general risk of bacteria in unfamiliar settings, can create problems if you're not properly prepared. Patients should use hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes as the first line of defense to keep their hands as clean as possible and sterilize any surfaces needed to catheterize.

Over-Pack


Patients should make certain, in the case of overnight travel, to bring enough supplies for at least 1-2 days more than they intend to travel, just in case unforeseen circumstances extend their trip. This includes extra lubricant and any other supplies required to catheterize. By being overly prepared with regards to supplies, patients will be more likely to catheterize as often as needed.

Getting through Airport Security


By far the greatest number of questions patients have with regards to traveling with urinary catheters arise pertaining to the subject of travel by airplane. Due to TSA regulations regarding checked and carry-on luggage, proper handling of fluids, and screenings, the prospect of flying can be a source of great anxiety for patients with urinary catheters. However, with proper knowledge and preparation, patients with urinary catheters can find a flight to be no more stressful than any other means of travel. The first proactive step for patients to take is to contact their airline and make them aware of their condition and see if any particular concessions are made for patients with catheters and if documentation is required.

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.

For carry-on bags, you must place all liquids of 3.4 oz or less in a one quart-sized, clear, plastic zipper-lock bag. If applicable, this would include sterile water packets. TSA does have certain concessions in place for medication, which catheters and their supplemental products can be considered, but again, it would be wise to check with the airline in advance regarding documentation.

For patients utilizing lubricant, make sure it is in 3.4 oz or fewer containers and is properly bagged and secured. If patients pack their luggage properly, and communicate with both TSA and airline employees clearly and discretely, a great deal of inconvenience can be prevented for all parties involved.

Look Into Catheter Options


Many patients taking extended or more complex trips while using urinary catheters will choose to opt for a different type of catheter in order to streamline this experience. For extremely long flights, patients can inquire about an Indwelling, or Foley catheter, so there is no need to continually catheterize during their trip. The need to catheterize less often will also limit opportunities for patients to encounter less than ideal hygiene conditions while catheterizing, limiting the risk of infection.

Some patients will even opt for a closed catheter system for travel, as this will dramatically lower the risk of infection when catheterizing, though the insurance and Medicare guidelines for this system are very stringent and patients should adequately research and discuss this option with their catheter provider, like Aeroflow, beforehand to see if they qualify for supplies through their insurance.

Aeroflow can Help


Travel is an important business undertaking, as well as a relaxing and rewarding recreational opportunity for millions of people. Use of a urinary catheter system should not be a barrier to this important and enriching activity. Call Aeroflow Healthcare today at 844-276-5588 to speak to one of our trained representatives or visit us online to qualify through insurance for catheter supplies.

Together, we can dramatically improve your quality of life and keep you happy and healthy.

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.

Caring for Your Urinary Drainage Bag | Aeroflow Catheters


Urinary Drainage Bag Care


Urinary drainage bags, like catheters themselves, are delicate pieces of medical equipment. Due to their intimate contact with equally delicate parts of the human body, very strict hygiene regiments need to be practiced when emptying, changing, or doing any other maintenance with them.

Importance of Drainage Bag Care


For patients adjusting to using urinary incontinence products like a catheter system, one of the greatest challenges can be proper, hygienic use and care of their medical devices. If patients do not properly care for their catheter products and practice good sanitation habits, they are at a higher risk of developing infections and other complications. This can not only lead to more serious health risks, but also discourage future use of the products which can dramatically increase a patient’s quality of life. One of the most integral parts of a catheter system which requires frequent care and maintenance is the drainage bag. Drainage bag care can be very simple, but it is essential to the overall health and well being of the catheter system, and its user.

Empty the Drainage Bag Frequently


One of the most important factors in drainage bag care is emptying the bag with appropriate frequency. As the bag becomes more full, its weight and mass increase. This will in turn produce a greater degree of stress on the patient’s sensitive areas. This can lead to irritation and discomfort for the patient, discouraging them from developing good habits with their treatment. In the case of leg bags, a bag becoming overfull also can provide a logistical problem should the patient need to empty the bag when they are at an inconvenient location to do so. In short, drainage bags should not be allowed to become more than half full in most cases, perhaps even less full in the case of smaller leg bags.

Wash your Hands Thoroughly


Beyond simple frequency, it is also necessary for patients to wash their hands both before and after emptying the bag. This will ensure that the bag remains uncontaminated by any bacteria or foreign matter.

Location Matters


It is very important to keep the bag below the height of the patient’s bladder or waist. This will prevent urine from leaving the bag and flowing back to the catheter and into the bladder. The bag should not be allowed to touch any foreign surfaces or objects, particularly the spigot where the urine empties from, as this can contaminate the closed system.

Cleaning the Bag


For general cleaning, rubbing alcohol should be applied to any parts of the drainage bag which are required to be touched after use, particularly in the case of the spigot. For more thorough cleaning, once the bag has been emptied and is not in use, a mixture of water and bleach can be applied to the inside of the bag, taking special care to rinse extremely thoroughly afterwards. With bleach, the ratio should be 1 part bleach per 10 parts water. In cases where the use of bleach is either impractical or considered unsafe, patients can substitute white vinegar in a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water ratio. In either case, this mixture should be allowed to agitate and soak within the bag for at least 30 seconds. Make sure the drainage bag has been removed from the patient before using these thorough cleaning methods.

Replacing your Drainage Bag


Even with proper cleaning techniques, patients should not hesitate to change out their urinary drainage bag if any kind of discoloration or other sign of reduced integrity appears. A good rule of thumb for replacing the drainage bag is to do so monthly.

By properly caring for not only their drainage bag but their entire catheter system, patients will dramatically decrease the likelihood of suffering infections and other complications which can compromise catheter system treatments. If you are in need of urinary catheters, fill out our Qualify Through Insurance form to see if you qualify to receive up to 200 catheters at little to no cost, delivered to your home; or call 844-276-5588 to speak to a customer service representative.

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.

What is an Intermittent Catheter?


What is an Intermittent Catheter


Due to the wide variety of catheterization products available, as well as the myriad of conditions necessitating their use, determining which urinary catheters are right for you can be a complex process. While all urinary catheters can be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance, a patient’s condition determines which style they will be prescribed. Of all the available types of catheters, intermittent catheters are often the most commonly used. Patients who are faced with urinary incontinence or other medical necessities may find themselves asking: Just what is an intermittent catheter?

Intermittent catheters are intended for patients to self-insert through the urethra and into the bladder themselves and used only at the moment a patient is ready to urinate. Medicare covers 200 intermittent, single-use catheters each month. This allotment allows patients to relieve themselves multiple times throughout the day, while still allowing extra catheters should any difficulties with insertion arise. By using intermittent catheters, patients will experience increased comfort between urinary events and a decreased likelihood of urinary tract infections or other complications.

Choosing the right Intermittent Catheter


The difficulty with catheter insertion is one of the most common barriers to not only frequent catheterization but also adherence to prescribed treatment plans set up by patient doctors. In light of this, Aeroflow Healthcare recommends that patients use a hydrophilic intermittent catheter when it comes to choosing the right intermittent catheter. Hydrophilic catheters are lubricated with sterile water rather than gel, more closely mimicking our body’s own natural fluids and allowing for easier clean up by the patient. This produces greater ease of catheter insertion, helping encourage patients to use their catheters as often as their prescription recommends, preserving their health and the integrity of their treatment.

Beyond the normal straight tip intermittent catheter, there are also Coude tip catheters, which have a slight curve or bend to the tip. Coude tip Catheters can help patients with prostate issues thread the catheter past the prostate or in the event of urethra narrowing or blockages. A diagnosed medical need to using a straight tip catheter must be demonstrated in order for Medicare to cover the Coude tip. Patients must work closely with their doctor in order to provide the correct documentation that this type of catheter is right for their specific needs.

How to get Intermittent Catheters


By adhering to the guidance of their medical professional, patients properly utilizing intermittent catheters can see a dramatic increase in quality of life. If you are suffering from urinary incontinence or other conditions that may require the use of intermittent catheters, fill out our Qualify Through Insurance form or call toll free 844-276-5588 to see if Aeroflow Healthcare can help you get the catheters you need at little to no cost. You can learn more about Intermittent Catheters and the other styles of catheters. With the assistance of Aeroflow and your diagnosing medical physician, we can help you make an informed decision about which intermittent catheter is right for you.

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.

What is Purple Bag Syndrome, and How To Prevent It


What is Purple Bag Syndrome, and How To Prevent It


If you're catheterized and recently checked on your urinary bag to notice a distinct purple hue to the contents, don't be alarmed. While rare, there is an explanation as to why your urine has changed color, and ways to help prevent this from happening again.

Purple Bag Syndrome typically occurs in individuals on long-term urinary catheterization and is related to a urinary tract infection. When certain types of bacteria cause a urinary tract infection, they can react with the breakdown of tryptophan (the same stuff found in turkey, and many other foods) in your digestive system, and the resulting reaction causes the purple discoloration.

While the sight of Purple Bag Syndrome may be alarming, there is no immediate cause to be worried or concerned. Typically, it is harmless and does not indicate any larger issue.

In order to prevent Purple Bag Syndrome, it is very important to regularly change and properly take care of all catheters and drainage bags to prevent the future growth of bacteria. Proper sanitation and maintenance of your medical supplies will help prevent not only Purple Bag Syndrome, but also promote a healthier life.

Sometimes other symptoms, such as constipation, follow Purple Bag Syndrome, and should be treated accordingly. Even though Purple Bag Syndrome is a benign reaction to bacteria and tryptophan, it may be beneficial to inform your healthcare provider so that they can check for any underlying concerns.

Whether you need an indwelling catheter, intermittent catheter, or external catheter, Aeroflow is here for you. Our staff will work with your insurance to find the best supplies to fit your needs in accordance to your doctor's notes.

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.

Tips for Catheter Care



Adjusting to the use of catheters for urinary incontinence can be difficult. However, the benefits of such implements far outweigh the negatives, as diligence and proper application and care of your catheters can lead to a dramatic increase in quality of life.

Catheter Sanitation


One of the primary challenges of catheter use is practicing proper sanitation to minimize the risks of infection, rashes, and other uncomfortable or dangerous complications. The first line of defense in catheter sanitation is changing your catheter with appropriate frequency. Medicare allows for up to 200 intermittent catheters per month. With 200 catheters, you can cath at least 6 times a day and still have extra catheters at the end of the month. When you frequently change your catheter, you ensure the catheter is clean and sterile. Sterile catheters dramatically decrease urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness


One of the primary sources of complications doesn't come from the catheter. Inadequate cleaning of the bands and the area around the catheter contributes to most complications. Since replacing catheters can introduce dirt and bacteria into your body, it is very important to thoroughly sterilize the area around the catheter at every possible opportunity. Frequent hand washing with mild soap and warm water is the first line of defense. Clean hands preserve the catheter's sterility and keep bacteria out of your body.

Using a New Catheter


When opening new catheters, preserve their sterility by keeping them contained in their sterile wrapping until the application, and be careful not to place new sterile catheters on any contaminated surface. Aeroflow Healthcare recommends that you use hydrophilic catheters. Hydrophilic catheters are coated with sterile saline, as opposed to the sterile water used in standard indwelling catheters. This can provide a greater degree of overall sanitation, but more importantly, a much higher level of comfort when inserting the catheter. Because saline mimics the natural membranes and lubricants our body, you experience less difficulty with catheterization.

By practicing good hygiene and sanitation habits, you will be much less likely to experience any complications arising from catheter use. If you are experiencing any adverse health conditions which require the use of indwelling or external catheters, get your free catheter sample today to see how your quality of life can be measurably improved.

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.

What Is An Indwelling Catheter?



How does an indwelling catheter work, and what makes it different than other types of catheters? If you or someone you know needs to get a catheter, you may be asking yourself the same questions. Hopefully, this blog can help you find the answer to your questions.

Foley Catheters


Foley catheters are the most common type of indwelling catheters. Unlike intermittent catheters, indwelling catheters can stay inside of you for prolonged periods of time. This is especially helpful for those who are bed ridden, have a bedriddenralysis, enlarged prostates, or those who are sedated.

There are two basic types of Foley catheters that you can use: Two Channel and Three Channel.

A two channel indwelling catheter is set up with two external ports which convene into one tube that is divided into two channels. The first channel goes two ways and is used for draining urine out of the bladder and into the drainage bag.

The other channel is used to fill up a balloon with sterilized water. This balloon rests just beyond the entrance to the bladder holding the catheter in place.

Three channel catheters are very similar; however the third channel is used to fill the bladder with saline solution for cleansing.

If you are looking for a brand new indwelling catheter, Aeroflow is here for you. We can help you find the right catheter for you through your insurance. Whether you need an indwelling catheter, intermittent catheter or external catheter we can help you find it.

Our trained staff will collect your insurance information, as well as doctor’s notes to insure that you get the best possible supplies to fit your needs. You can call us toll free, at (888) 345-1780. You can also qualify for a catheter on our site through our ‘Qualify Through Insurance’ form.  We look forward to hearing from you, and are ready to help you with all of your catheter needs.

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.