This post was reviewed by our Director of Clinical Excellence and Oversight.
Coated catheters are urinary catheters that have been coated with an additional substance or material. There are different kinds of catheter coatings, and each one services a specific purpose, such as protecting against infection or easing the discomfort of insertion.
Like other catheters, a coated catheter is used to drain urine from the bladder.
How a Coated Catheter Works
Coated catheters are used the same way as other types of catheters. The catheter is inserted into the bladder, allowing urine to exit the body through tiny openings called eyelets.
Intermittent hydrophilic catheters are used once and thrown away, while coated Foley catheters remain in the bladder for a longer period of time.
Types of Coated Catheters
Intermittent hydrophilic catheters are a type of straight catheter that make insertion more comfortable. They feature a special coating that, when wet, becomes slippery. This enhances the catheter’s ability to inserted smoothly.
Silver Coated Foley catheter
Silver coated Foley catheters are type of Foley catheter used to protect against Urinary Tract Infections. Silver is very effective at killing bacteria, and the silver coating on the catheter helps kill bacteria in the urethra.
Silicone Coated Foley Catheters
Silicone coated Foley catheters help reduce discomfort or irritation during insertion. They consists of two layers: a latex core, and an outer layer of silicone that provides a smooth surface.
Note: Silicone coated catheters do not protect against exposure to latex. People with latex allergies should use a100% silicone Foley catheter or a vinyl intermittent catheter.
*To learn about other catheters, visit our Types of Catheters Guide.
Who Uses Coated Catheters?
Coated catheters are typically prescribed to men and women who need the additional benefit of a coating. For example, people prone to UTIs may be prescribed a silver-coated Foley catheter. Others who experience pain during insertion may be prescribed a hydrophilic straight catheter.
Insurance Coverage of Coated Catheters
Most insurance plans provide coverage of coated catheters, including Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance. In most cases, a doctor must provide paperwork explaining why the coated catheter is needed.
The number of coated catheters you can receive depends on your insurance provider’s rules and your doctor’s prescription.
**To learn about Medicare coverage of all urology products,
visit our Guide to Medicare Coverage of Urology Supplies.
How To Get Coated Catheters
If you need to order coated catheters for the first time, or if you’re frustrated with your current supplier, contact us. Our team of experts will make sure your medical supply experience is as easy and simple as possible.
Ordering with us only takes a few minutes. Just provide us with some basic information, and our team will do the rest. We take care of everything, including billing your insurance and working with your doctor to obtain any required documents. Once everything is in order, your supplies will be on their way to you, typically within 48 hours.