Ensuring Smooth Catheterization: The Role of Polished Eyelets in Urethral Health - Diane Newman & Don Darais

May 18, 2023

In this conversation, Diane Newman, a Urologic Nurse Practitioner and Don Darais, the Associate Director of US Marketing for ConvaTec delve into the specifics of catheter design and the importance of 'eyelets.' They explain that these holes, located on the sides of the catheter and not the tip, allow urine to drain out. The duo underscores the significance of these eyelets being polished and smooth to avoid traumatizing the delicate urethra during catheterization. Newman warns that rough or irregular eyelets could lead to injury, bleeding, potential infections, and scarring, which could result in strictures. The dialogue highlights the need for quality, well-designed catheters for safe and efficient bladder management.


Don Darais, Associate Director of U.S Marketing, Continence Care, ConvaTec, Oklahoma City, OK

Diane K Newman, DNP, ANP-BC, BCB-PMD, FAAN, Urologic Nurse Practitioner, Adjunct Professor of Urology in Surgery, Research Investigator Senior, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and Former Co-Director of the Penn Center for Continence and Pelvic Health, Philadelphia, PA

Read the Full Video Transcript

Diane Newman: We want to talk, we talked about in a previous one about the tip of the catheter and the curved or coude tip is important maybe for a male who is catheterizing because it really passes through the curves of the male urethra. Well, let's talk about, this is a straight tip catheters, but how does the urine get into the catheter to drain out? Well, we have what we call eyelets. They're basically holes, right?

Don Darais: Exactly. Yep.

Diane Newman: And I don't know if you can see, but they're opposing holes, which mean there's one here and on the other side it's there. So talk to us a little bit about those holes, because they have to make a hole in this catheter. You don't want your urethra to feel that hole. So we have something called polished holes, right? They have to be very smooth.

Don Darais: Exactly. And we tend to hear a lot of other manufacturers doing the same thing with fire polished or polished eyelets. What's really important and what actually makes this, so this is the Cure female length catheter uncoated. What makes this one unique is that these are not only polished, but they're also rounded. So if you look very, very closely, you can see that there's a little bit of an indentation around the eyelet itself, and that was by design to ensure that as you can glide your fingers over it and feel how smooth they are, you could imagine how it's important that they don't traumatize the urethra as well as they're using an intermittent catheter.

Diane Newman: Now, you know, you may say why is that important? Well, if it's irregular or like you say it's not smooth, it may get stuck in the urethra. I try to explain to people, to my patients, is that the urethra is kind of like a cooked number 10 spaghetti noodle. It's very, it's thin and it's not used to having something being passed through it because urine just is fluid, just flows right out when we urinate. Well, if you can't urinate and you need to catheterize yourself, you're putting in a foreign object in there that can really irritate it. So you want this to be smooth all the way through. While you have to have holes to drain the urine out, there is no hole in the tip of the catheter. There are catheters that have holes, but we don't use those for intermittent catheterization. The hole is not in the tip, the hole is in the side.

And you really do want those eyelets or those holes, like catheter eyes we call them, to be smooth so that you're right, they don't traumatize the urethra. And if you traumatize or injure your urethra, you may have bleeding. You will open up what we call the mucosa, which is the lining of the urethra. If it's opened up, bacteria can invade that opening, causing issues as far as maybe an infection. But it also can cause scarring. If you keep hitting the same area where maybe there's irritation from the holes or the eyelets of the catheter, you can have scarring occur. Just like if you have some kind of injury of your skin in that and you have a scar, scars are not good. It can develop strictures in that. So it's important that you have a good quality catheter that has what we call polished or smooth eyelets.
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