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Urethral dilation in the setting of difficult urethral catheterization is sometimes necessary to avoid suprapubic catheterization. Anecdotally, we have observed that less dilation is needed when advancing a silicone catheter over a Glidewire compared with a latex catheter of the same size. Our aim was to quantify the difference in the resistance to buckling between silicone and latex catheters. A BOSE Electroforce load testing device was used to test 12F and 16F silicone and latex catheters under tensile and compressive forces. This information was used to characterize the buckling (kinking) behavior of the catheters. Silicone catheters showed more than 50% greater resistance to kinking when compared with regular latex or coude latex catheters. In the setting of the difficult urethral catheterization, silicone catheters should be used after urethral dilation, advanced through a Glidewire, because they offer more resistance to buckling and might necessitate less dilation than conventional latex catheters.


Carlos Villanueva, S G M Hossain, Carl A Nelson. Silicone catheters may be superior to latex catheters in difficult urethral catheterization after urethral dilation. Journal of endourology / Endourological Society. 2011 May;25(5):841-4

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PMID: 21476876

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