The Lotus catheter, a no-balloon catheter that ranges in size from paediatric to adult, is now available from Focus Products.
The flower tip design of the Lotus catheter results in continuous drainage of the bladder with no residual urine. This, in turn, translates into decreased incidence of infection and limits bladder and urethral trauma in the event of accidental removal.
The Lotus catheter is said to be a better option that the standard urinary Foley catheter. The latter came onto the market in 1933 and many millions of these catheters have been sold since then. Urethral catheterization is a common practice in the healthcare setting, with over 30 million catheters being inserted annually in the United States alone – and the majority of these are the standard balloon Foley catheters.
But the Foley has several limitations – many due to the presence of a balloon. Investigation into their use has elucidated several problems associated with their design. They allow for higher residual volume of urine in the bladder, following their insertion, given the position of the balloon in the bladder and the relatively small opening for drainage. This can lead to additional morbidity, especially in the form of infection, one of the most common sources of healthcare-associated infections in the country, which can further lead to encrustations and kidney stones. Foley catheters also cause mechanical complications when accidentally inflated within the urethra or forcefully removed, which can lead to long-term issues such as stricture or stenosis, which contribute a great burden of disease to affected patient.
Studies have repeatedly highlighted the limitations of the Foley catheter structure, hailing the need for smarter design. While attempts have been made to improve catheters, such as using novel coatings or even a double balloon model, researchers had yet to see a design that removes the balloon aspect entirely while still satisfactorily fulfilling the basic requirements of a urinary catheter – until the advent of the Lotus catheter, that is.
The Lotus Catheter was designed to have a deployable Malecot-like soft-winged retention mechanism that replaces the inflatable balloon of a Foley Catheter, such modifications, not only improves urinary drainage by allowing the lumen to rest at the bladder neck, but also ensuring safety due to compressibility within the urethra.
The Lotus Catheter is made from siliconized coated natural latex. The proximal tip comprises four symmetrical parallel cuts and houses the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) activation rod. The rod is attached to the bellows mechanism that is fixed near the distal end, that contains the connection for a standard urine bag.
The bellows are deployed by gently pulling open, creating a compressive force which activates the parallel cuts that hold the Lotus Catheter in place within the bladder and open a pathway for urine to flow. Moreover, when activated, the flower-like lumen also act as retaining mechanism that rests at the bladder neck, ensuring complete drainage while enhancing patient comfort.
Due to the complete drainage of the bladder with no residual urine there is a decreased incidence of infection, and limited bladder and urethral trauma in the event of accidental removal.
In fact, the Lotus catheter completely avoids the pitfalls of a standard Foley catheter. It drains the bladder effectively. This lowers the risk of urinary tract infections. There are also no recorded complications during or after insertion. Accidental removal results in no apparent trauma to the urethra and no gross haematuria, followed by simple reinsertion. Patient discomfort is low, while insertion and removal are easy to perform, requiring very little time.
In short, the Lotus catheter is the catheter of the future!