An Expensive Cheap Substitute
The Department of Urology KATH has observed the worrying increase in the number of cases of urine retension associated with urethral strictures in patients who had been cathereterised for non urologic surgeries in the past. This unfortunate trend has been observed in the young as well as the elderly. The iatrogenic cause of this strictures has been blamed on the use of the popular and largely available Foleys catheter . The Foleys catheter even though silicon coated still evokes intense tissue reaction against the delicate urethral mucosa. The intense inflammatory reaction sets the stage for fibrosis and hence strictures as a late complication. Efforts are being made at both retrospective and prospective studies to investigate a causal relationship between the use of Foleys catheters and the development of urethral strictures. Silicon urethral catheters which evoke little or no tissue irritation, is usually not available for reason of cost. Its is however clear that morbidity associated with urethral strictures, human hours spent on the complex surgery of urethroplasty and its attendant complications makes it imperative to reexamine the cost benefit analysis of procuring silicon urethral catheters.