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Tips for Cathing After Prostate Cancer Surgery

by Jessica July 13 2018 06:23
tips for catheterization after prostate cancer surgery


Each year, nearly 165,000 males in the United States are diagnosed with prostate cancer.

early detection and prevention of prostate cancerProstate cancer is the most common cancer in men other than skin cancer, and it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men according to the American Cancer Society.

However, this slow-growing cancer is often very treatable and isn't necessarily fatal, particularly in cases where it is diagnosed early. This is why it's so important to make regular or annual appointments to see a urologist. Early detection is key.


Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Surgery

For those who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, there are a few treatment options. This will entirely depend on how severe the cancer growth is. The best course of action will come down to a mutual decision between you and your treating physician. 

Some may have to undergo a partial or full removal of the prostate by surgery, which is called a prostatectomy. This procedure is done to prevent the diseased portions or all of this walnut-sized gland from the body in order to prevent the cancer from spreading.

prostate cancer surgeryWhile it is considered a safe operation and usually very successful, there can be some side effects. According to the UCLA Prostate Cancer Program, “the surgery may weaken the muscles that control your urine flow. Surgery may also hurt the nerves that help control your bladder.” This is why some men occasionally experience urine leakage or symptoms of a neurogenic bladder after the surgery. In many cases, this side effect is temporary, but for some, this could be a long-term condition that requires treatment as well.

Depending on the symptoms and the severity, a protective undergarment or adult briefs may be a good option to absorb any leakage until the symptoms subside.

However, in other cases, it may be best to use an intermittent catheter to help empty the bladder and prevent urine leakage.


Tips for New Catheter Users After Prostate Cancer Surgery

Find the right intermittent Catheter for you.

You're unique, and so are your needs and preferences. That's why it's important to remember that no single type or brand of catheter is the best choice for everyone across the board. 

There are multiple types of disposable catheters available on the market today, so you have plenty of product options from which to choose. When it's time to begin selecting an intermittent catheter that will work best for you, be sure to consult with your prescribing healthcare professional to determine together what may work best for you, taking into account your lifestyle, preferences, medical condition, and anatomy. 

Straight intermittent catheters are considered the original technology. This type of catheter is uncoated and must be manually lubricated with separate lubricating jelly before insertion. Lubrication is typically sold separately in easy-to-open options like single-use travel-size packets or capped tubes. These are a simple catheter option, and some men prefer these due to their overall affordability and practicality.


straight caths for men


Hydrophilic catheters can be a great option, especially for those new to self-cathing, because of their convenience, sterility, and travel-readiness. Hydrophilic catheters have a coating that becomes slippery when activated by water and takes the place of typical lubricating jelly to make catheterization more smooth and comfortable. 


hydrophilic catheters for men


Closed system catheters are also great for sterile, no-touch cathing. Frequent travelers and those in wheelchairs also find closed systems to be incredibly handy and often easier to maneuver than standard straight catheters, since they are all-in-one systems with integrated collection bags. These often come with additional insertion supplies like ambidextrous gloves, antiseptic wipes, and other accessories to keep the cathing process hygienic.


closed system catheters for men


If you have any issues with inserting a straight tip, your doctor may recommend that you use a curved tip catheter known as a coudé catheter. Coudé catheters may help maneuver through tight spaces in the urethra like strictures and get past blockages.

Coudé tips are offered along with straight tips in every type of catheter listed above. Availability will depending on the brand and French size needed. 


keep it hygienic to reduce your risk of infection

Urinary tract infections are a common side effect among those who self-cath. There are ways to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections, such as using a touch-free catheter like a hydrophilic catheter or closed system catheter.

Do your best to keep your hands off the catheter tube to prevent contamination, and maintain a sterile environment.

On top of that, using your intermittent catheter just once and then disposing of it is a great way to reduce your risk of urinary tract infections.


talk to your doctor and follow their instructions.

Be sure to pay close attention to your doctors’ and nurses’ instructions regarding catheter use, including how frequently to catheterize per day and whether or not you should record your urine output for a period of time.

There are many misconceptions about cathing, which is why you should always be attentive and upfront with any questions to ensure you fully understand how to cath correctly. 


urologist prostate


Consider your catheter supplier options carefully.

Not all medical supply companies are equal when it comes to their brand selection, customer service, or product knowledge.

If you are asking “Where can I buy catheters?,” consider 180 Medical, the leading intermittent catheter supplier in the nation.

180 Medical offers an wide and varied selection of male length catheters from all of the top brands and manufacturers, including the newest products on the market with the latest advances in technology. 


intermittent catheter brands at 180 medical


On top of that, our team of trained and compassionate Specialists offer customer service that is second to none. We're happy to answer your questions, provide helpful instruction and educational materials, listen to all your concerns and preferences, and help you find the right catheter for your needs.

Using a catheter after prostate cancer surgery doesn't have to be scary or embarrassing to discuss.

If you're ready to look into your your catheter product options, give us a call today and find out how easy it is to get your first order of catheters. We'll be honored to help you as you heal from your surgery and transition into self-cathing.



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Grant's Spinal Cord Injury Won't Stop His Dreams

by Jessica June 20 2018 05:38
meet grant spinal cord injury scholarship recipient

Every year since our founder, Todd Brown, instated our annual scholarship program, we've heard so many amazing and inspiring stories from talented and determined students of all ages who are ready to achieve their dreams through higher education and take on the world!

June 1st was the cut-off date for taking applications for the 2018 school year, and in the last few months, we've received a whole new batch of applications from a wide variety of hopeful students, all aiming for their chance to earn one of the seven available 2018 180 Medical College Scholarship awards.

We always look forward to this time of year, and we're excited to begin our judging process soon.

For now, however, we'd love for you to get to know our scholarship recipients of 2017. You can find out more about each one of them and their goals in college, including MeghaFrankChelseaJosephElizabeth, and Heidi.

Last but not least, we're excited to introduce you to the final recipient of 2017. Meet Grant! 


grant 180 medical scholarship recipient quote 2017


Achieving Goals Despite Challenges

When Grant was injured 4 years ago at just 15 years old, it's possible that his life might have taken an entirely different direction if he had allowed himself to give up.

However, he worked hard to make it through rehabilitation therapy in just 3 months, despite his severe injury as a new C-6/7/8 quadriplegic. He came home from rehab at the end of the summer and went right back to school in September.

Grant was determined to continue to pursue his educational goals, no matter what new struggles he faced with his new disability. 

In fact, he didn't let his injury stop him from still attending almost every basketball game with his team, and he made sure to cheer his teammates on with a positive spirit.

During his time in high school, he received the Booster Club Senior Athlete of the Year award, as well as the Academic Excellence Award from his current college, Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU), for his outstanding GPA and his ACT score.


grant at physical therapy
Grant works hard in regular physical therapy to build and maintain his strength, despite his spinal cord injury.


Growing & Gaining Ground

adaptive driving for sci grantGrant's primary focus is continuing to work his way through college as a Business major while continuing his physical and occupational therapy. On top of working toward a degree, he has other passions and hobbies that keep him busy, including running his personal YouTube channel, gaming, and even writing a book about his life experiences. 

He recently acquired an adaptive vehicle and got his driver's license, stays active in his local church, and attends a monthly meeting for business owners, entrepreneurs, and creators. He hopes to continue learning from others' experiences in business and use this in his own goals.

Grant has shown true willpower and determination to achieve his dreams and better himself at every opportunity, and we here at 180 Medical wish him all the best in his future endeavors!


About the 180 Medical Scholarship

A college education can be difficult to afford for many students and their families, especially those who are living with conditions like spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, neurogenic bladder, and/or an ostomy (ileostomy, urostomy, or colostomy). That's why 180 Medical established a scholarship program to help students who are determined to achieve their goals, despite their condition.

We have stopped taking applications for the 2018 180 Medical College Scholarship as of June 1st. However, you can find full information, including eligibility requirements, at www.180medical.com/scholarships. You can also keep an eye on our social media pages for our official announcement of the seven recipients for 2018 on August 1st!


180 medical scholarship program for ostomy sci spina bifida


jessica 180 medical blog authorAbout the Author:

Jessica is the Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator, & she has been with 180 Medical for nearly 9 years. To her, the best part of working at 180 Medical is the opportunity to truly make a difference in peoples' lives. In her downtime, she enjoys creative writing, seeing new places, & spending time with her loved ones & her dogs. 

Heidi Overcame Hurdles to Advocate for Those with Disabilities

by Jessica April 20 2018 06:25
meet heidi scholarship recipient 180 medical

Last fall, we were excited to announce the 2017 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients. All of the applicants' essays were incredibly moving, and our seven finalists were certainly no exception!

Take a moment to get to know our previously featured recipients: 
MeghaFrankChelseaJoseph, and Elizabeth.

Today, we'd love for you to meet Heidi!


180 medical scholarship recipient heidi 2017 quote


Educating & Advocating for the Disabled

While Heidi goes to school to further her education, she works as an Adult Basic Educator and helps adults improve their basic skills in math, reading, and even with American Sign Language.

As a deaf and disabled woman who is a Disabilities Advocate, Heidi also has the amazing opportunity to help adults and children living with disabilities. She uses dolls that have been fitted with MIC-KEY buttons (a low-profile feeding tube) and colostomy stomas in order to help familiarize children who may be new to living with a feeding tube or an ostomy.

But if you had asked her twenty years ago what she would be doing with her life, she would never have imagined that things would turn out quite the way they have.


heidi and ostomy dolls for childrenHeidi with some of the educational tools and dolls that she uses to help familiarize children with their condition and normalize living with an ostomy and/or a feeding tube 


Unexpected Illness & Loss Changed Everything

Before Heidi got started on her current career path, she earned degrees in Nursing as well as Music Education. For many years, she worked as a Developmental Nurse Educator.

helping disabled kidsHeidi says, "I provided families with the tools necessary to gently shape their precious children's global development, while also sharing in the celebration of successes, comforting them in times of grief, acknowledging their fears, validating their hopes, and empowering them to advocate for their children." Her profession, at the time, truly fed her soul and allowed her to use her experiences, education, and gifts in helping others.

But then, everything changed. Originally, Heidi had been diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) for many years. Then she found out that the original diagnosis was incorrect; she had inherited Mitochondrial Myopathy. 

Mitochondrial Myopathy, according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, affects the cells of the body and can cause "both muscular and neurological effects" like:

  • Weakened muscles
  • Hearing loss / deafness
  • Balance issues
  • Seizures
  • Learning deficits
Around this time, her youngest child tragically passed away due to a severe neurological disease. Then she had to battle a form of drug-resistant pneumonia that caused multiple complications for Heidi. The worst was anticipated, and she was put into hospice care. 

However, Heidi says, "I had more work to do."


Using Her Experience to Help Others

sign language heartTo everyone's astonishment, including her doctors, Heidi worked hard to get her strength back. She made it through her illness and eventually returned to school to major in Deaf Studies. 

It wasn't long after this that she began her role as an Adult Basic Educator and tutored students who were "disadvantaged by disability, poverty, and inadequate social and educational support." 

Today, Heidi is working toward earning her Master's degree in Higher Education, and she hopes to create a more accessible educational program for these students. 

It's truly amazing to see someone who has gone through so much and is still so eager to keep moving forward and aid other people in need of a helping hand.

We wish Heidi the best of luck and blessings as she moves forward with her career plans and continues to use her personal experience to comfort those living with disabilities or families dealing with losses of their own. 


About the 180 Medical Scholarship

We understand that college isn't easy to afford for many students, and it can be especially difficult for those living with conditions like spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, neurogenic bladder, and/or an ostomy (ileostomy, urostomy, or colostomy). That's why 180 Medical established a scholarship program to help those students who are determined to keep working hard to achieving their goals and dreams.

Currently through June 1, 2018, 180 Medical is accepting applications for our 2018 scholarship program. You can find full information, eligibility requirements, and download an application at www.180medical.com/scholarships.


180 medical scholarship program for ostomy sci spina bifida



About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years and is the Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for a company that truly cares both for its employees and its customers.


 

Elizabeth is Determined to Win the Daily Battle Against Her Disability

by Jessica March 14 2018 06:27
elizabeth 2017 scholarship recipient

Earlier this year, we were proud to announce the seven 2017 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients. This year's group of applicants and especially the 2017 recipients are truly inspiring and are living proof of overcoming odds to achieve dreams, so we love getting to let you know more about these bright students and their career goals.

So far, we've introduced you to four of our seven recipients: MeghaFrankChelsea, and Joseph. We're excited to introduce you to Elizabeth today!


elizabeth inspirational disability quote


Facing the Challenges of Cerebral Palsy

From the start, Elizabeth was extraordinary. She was born two months premature in a set of quadruplet girls. 

For over a year, everything seemed normal, until Elizabeth's parents realized she wasn't sitting up on her own and couldn't crawl or walk like her sisters.

The doctors diagnosed her with Cerebral Palsy, which is a condition caused by a lack of oxygen to an infant's brain (asphyxia) during childbirth. There are multiple complications and symptoms that can arise from a condition like Cerebral Palsy, and it's rarely the same for each person affected. Some of the potential symptoms of cerebral palsy may include:

  • Muscle tone variation
  • Seizures and/or tremors
  • Difficult with walking or unusual gait
  • Difficulty with coordination and motor skills
  • Delays in speech development
  • Neurogenic bladder or urinary incontinence
  • Delayed development
Elizabeth has now lived with Cerebral Palsy for almost 24 years, and for her, the condition affects her whole body and many other aspects of her life.

"Thankfully," she says, "I do not have to face this challenge alone."


Finding Joy in Family, Sports, & School

elizabeth at homecomingElizabeth's family has been with her every step of the way since her birth. Although living with Cerebral Palsy does make her somewhat dependent on her family for her daily care, they state that "the joys and opportunities that have come through sharing life with [Elizabeth] far outweigh any sacrifices."

One joy that Elizabeth found at just eight years old is Paralympic Boccia. She found the challenges of the sport perfect for a competitive outlet, and Boccia is perfect for her physical abilities.

Even today, Elizabeth is still actively participating in Boccia, and she competed in the 2017 National Championships most recently.

"I also co-chair the Youth Development Taskforce for Boccia's national organization, USA Boccia. The Taskforce's vision is to expand youth participation in Boccia at the regional and national level," Elizabeth states. 

Despite her condition and her avid participation in Boccia, she worked hard in school, made excellent grades, and graduated from John Brown University with her Bachelor's degree in Child and Family Studies. Her time in college strengthened her passion to help others, particularly at the policy level of social work. 

During her time at school, she finally got to experience living apart from her family and having assisting staff for her daily care and needs, which was another step toward the independence that Elizabeth craves, although she is grateful beyond words for her family's unending support. 


Working To Become a Leader in Social Change

Currently, Elizabeth is now completing her Master's Degree in Social Work at the University of Illinois, and she is beyond thrilled to be able to start on this new adventure and continue her preparations for her career through higher education. 

She plans to concentrate on Leadership and Social Change. When talking about why she chose this field, Elizabeth is excited and hopeful. 

"I value social work, because it is an opportunity to truly meet people where they are and empower them to fulfill their potential by offering new skills and resources. With my degree, I seek to impact the disability service system in our country, advocating for the dignity and well-being of all people across the spectrum of ability," Elizabeth says. 

Even though Elizabeth faces a daily battle, she says she refuses to allow Cerebral Palsy to become a prison or limit her in any way. She is determined to use her own experiences to make a difference in others' lives. 


elizabeth motivational quote 180 medical scholarship recipient 2017


We are all certain that with her drive and dedication, she will go far in improving the lives of others living with disabilities, and we wish her the best of luck in her future goals!


About the 180 Medical Scholarship

College isn't always easy to afford, and we know that there can often be extra financial hardship heaped on students who live with conditions like spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, neurogenic bladder, and/or an ostomy (ileostomy, urostomy, or colostomy). That's why 180 Medical established a scholarship program to help those aspiring students work toward achieving their dreams.

We're accepting applications for the 2018 180 Medical College Scholarship Program now through June 1, 2018! You can download an application and get full information at www.180medical.com/scholarships.


180 medical scholarship program for ostomy sci spina bifida



About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years and is the Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for a company that truly cares both for its employees and its customers.


 

What Is Neurogenic Bladder?

by Jessica October 31 2017 06:36
what is neurogenic bladder

If you think you have neurogenic bladder, you should know that you are certainly not alone. Neurogenic bladder can happen to anyone at any age from newborns to senior citizens. While millions of people in the United States live with neurogenic bladder, we understand it can feel like a sensitive topic to discuss. Read on to find out the answers to some of your questions about neurogenic bladder. 

What Causes Neurogenic Bladder?

Neurogenic bladder is typically caused by another condition that affects the nerves of the bladder and/or the way the urinary system functions, including difficulty controlling when and how the bladder stores or releases urine. A number of different conditions could potentially cause neurogenic bladder, including the fmollowing:

  • Spina bifida 
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injuries or spinal nerve trauma
  • Nerve damage from pelvic/abdominal surgery

What Are the Symptoms of Neurogenic Bladder?

Typically, the symptoms vary from person to person. It will likely depend on the extent of nerve damage. There are sub-categories of neurogenic bladder, which are Overactive Bladder and Underactive Bladder. Some people present with symptoms of their bladder being both overactive and underactive. 

An overactive bladder will typically present with symptoms of leakage of urine or more severe incontinence, depending on the severity of the condition. There may be issues with frequent urination, or feeling the need to go to the bathroom multiple times, whether it's daytime or at night. 

An underactive bladder doesn't release urine the way it should, which means the muscles around the bladder or the urethra may stay tightened rather than relaxing to allow the bladder to fully empty. 

living with neurogenic bladderHaving symptoms like these may make you want to isolate yourself or back out of activities because of anxiety about possible leaks or frequent trips to the restroom. Untreated neurogenic bladder can put a kink in plans and keep you from doing things you normally enjoy doing.  You might even be dealing with some fatigue if you have to get up frequently during the night due to an overactive bladder or occasional unexpected messes.

Urinary tract infections or bladder infections can also occur if the bladder is not fully emptying, and depending on your symptoms, if left untreated, it could potentially cause more severe infections or even kidney damage. This is why seeking treatment is so important.

What is the Treatment for Neurogenic Bladder?

Whatever the cause, we understand that having a neurogenic bladder can significantly impact your quality of life. That's why it's so important to schedule an appointment with a urologist or your general health practitioner as soon as possible when you notice any strange symptoms impacting your bladder's health. Fast treatment may be able to prevent kidney damage or other issues. Your doctor will likely review your medical history, go over any recent possible injuries or other physical symptoms you may have had, and order several tests to determine the cause. 

treatment of neurogenic bladderIf you are diagnosed with neurogenic bladder, know that there are plenty of options for treatment that can help, many of which could be as simple as basic lifestyle changes, depending on the severity of your condition. Your doctor is the right person to go to for this information, and they will be able to suggest the treatments that they determine may be right for your individual needs, your medical history, and your preferences.

Some options for treating neurogenic bladder may include but are not limited to:

  • Medication
  • Scheduled intermittent catheterization
  • Dietary and fluid intake changes
  • Bladder augmentation
  • Pelvic floor exercises
  • Urinary diversion

Intermittent catheters are commonly used to aid urination and improve day-to-day life. Catheterization may help you gain back a sense of independence, and you may feel less anxious about potential messes or not being able to urinate on your own when you know you have the right amount of sterile catheters on hand, no matter where you go. 

In cases where the doctor determines that the dysfunction of the bladder is severe enough, it may warrant a procedure known as a urostomy, which creates an artificial opening known as a stoma so the urine can be diverted and emptied from the body more efficiently. If you end up undergoing a urostomy procedure, you'll need urostomy supplies.

At 180 Medical, we specialize in both intermittent catheters and ostomy products, and we like to treat every customer like a member of our own family. When you call our team of specialists, you can feel confident knowing that we'll listen to your needs and preferences while treating your sensitive situation with the compassion and care that you deserve.

Contact us today!

what's next after ostomy surgery
What's Next After Your
Ostomy Surgery?
top 5 tips for bladder health
Top 5 Tips to Keep
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The Benefits of Catheter Use for MS Patients

by Catheter Experts April 10 2013 08:29
benefits of using catheters for MS

How many people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) do you think use catheters?

The Center of Disease Control estimates that there are 400,000 people in the US living with MS, and more than 100,000 of them rely on catheters. According to a study done by doctors at the University Hospital's Case Medical Center in Cleveland, more than a quarter of patients with MS have either previously used or currently use catheters.

Intermittent straight catheter usage can make a world of difference for many people who have MS and experience bladder dysfunction. 


male and female length catheter illustration


Multiple Sclerosis & Its Effect on the Bladder

bladder dysfunction in those living with MSAlmost 80% of people with MS also experience urinary problems. Lesions created by this condition can either block or delay the transmissions of nerve signals in the areas of the central nervous system that control the urinary sphincter and bladder.

There are two distinct types of bladder problems that affect MS patients:
These issues can not only be sources of embarrassment and discomfort, but incomplete bladder drainage can make those living with MS more prone to recurring urinary tract infections. 


Intermittent Catheterization & Multiple Sclerosis

Catheterization has an array of medical benefits and can significantly improve overall quality of life.

Intermittent catheters prevent the bladder from overfilling, eliminate residual urine, and help prevent urinary infections from urine that might otherwise remain too long inside the bladder.

Some people are reluctant to use catheters because they worry about discomfort. However, we want to assure you that modern disposable catheters have come a long way since their invention.

Today, catheters are made from a variety of materials, many of which are designed to be soft, pliant, and comfortable for the user.

how to cath dvd and bookletsConcerned about your privacy? Many catheters are small and easily concealable. There are even pocket catheters that are discreet and can easily fit in a small bag, makeup case, or even a pocket.

Intermittent catheter usage paired with any necessary supplements or prescription medication along with regular doctor check-ups can do a lot to improve your urinary health as well as your overall well-being.

If you'd like to learn more about bladder management for those living with Multiple Sclerosis, visit the National MS Society's website for helpful information and tips on maintaining good urinary health.

Are you seeking a reliable catheter supply provider? 180 Medical will be glad to help you find the right product for your needs, and our specialists will treat your concerns and questions with kindness. 

We can also include some helpful information in your first order, like our unique how-to-cath instructions in full color booklets with all the information you need to know about intermittent catheter usage, as well as DVDs that can walk you through the process step-by-step on how to use straight catheters, hydrophilic catheters, and closed system catheter kits.

Give us a call today at 1-877-688-2729!


180 medical customer testimonial multiple sclerosis