BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to a method and apparatus for draining fluid from a body cavity, and more particularly to a catheter and a method for using the catheter to drain urine from the bladder.
Catheters have been used for centuries to drain fluid from a body cavity, e.g., to drain urine from the bladder. Modern catheters typically include a long narrow tube with a retention device and drainage port disposed at one end and an exit port at the other end. After a medical practitioner inserts the retention end of a catheter into the bladder, the retention device is deployed to hold the catheter in place while urine drains from the drainage port to the exit port.
Conventional retention devices include Malecot wings and balloons, such as those used in the Foley catheter. Catheters with balloon retention devices are inserted into the bladder in a deflated state until the balloon retention device passes through the bladder neck and into the bladder. Once the balloon retention device passes through the bladder neck and resides within the bladder, the medical practitioner inflates the balloon with a fluid. The inflated balloon retains the upper portion of the catheter, including the drainage port in the bladder. Because the balloon essentially blocks the opening in the bladder, the drainage port for draining fluids is typically located above the retention balloon. To release the catheter, the medical practitioner deflates the balloon by withdrawing the fluid from the balloon.
Catheters with Malecot wings normally assume a deployed orientation. Therefore, before catheters with Malecot wings are inserted into the bladder, the Malecot wings must be collapsed. This is accomplished by inserting an external device, i.e., a trocar, to apply pressure to the Malecot wings and force them into a collapsed orientation. After the wings pass through the bladder neck and into the bladder, releasing the pressure, e.g., by removing the trocar, deploys the wings. The deployed wings hold the catheter in place while the urine drains from the bladder. To release the Malecot catheter, the medical practitioner reapplies pressure to the wings by reinserting the trocar to collapse the Malecot wings while the catheter is withdrawn.
Catheters utilizing the above described retention devices have encountered numerous problems over the years. For example, the catheter must include an inflation channel and/or external means for deploying the retention device, which complicates the catheter design and the catheter administration procedure. In addition, when the drainage port is disposed above the retention device, the medical practitioner may begin deploying the retention device while the retention device is still at least partially in the urethra, which may be uncomfortable for the patient. Further, because there is no way for the medical practitioner to know that the retention device is fully collapsed, the medical practitioner may begin removing the catheter from the bladder before the retention device is fully collapsed, which may also cause discomfort to the patient.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The catheter of the present invention includes an outer tube with an inlet end portion and a stop formed on the inlet
end portion. The stop, which normally assumes a collapsed orientation, is moveable between a collapsed orientation and a deployed orientation.
The catheter may include a diagnostic port disposed on the outer tube proximate a bottom of the stop. When the collapsed stop is positioned within an internal cavity, fluid enters the inlet end portion via the diagnostic port and drains from the catheter. The catheter may also include an actuator.
10 Applying force to the actuator moves the stop from the collapsed orientation to the deployed orientation. The actuator may be configured to fail when a predetermined amount of force is applied to the actuator. Further, the actuator may be operatively connected to a locking device operative to lock the stop in a deployed orientation.
The catheter of the present invention is administered by inserting the inlet end portion into the internal cavity until the stop is disposed within the inner cavity, deploying the
20 stop by pulling the actuator, and locking the stop in the deployed orientation by locking the actuator in the locking device.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 illustrates a catheter according to the present invention.
FIGS. 2A, 2B, & 2C illustrate an exemplary inlet end portion of the catheter of FIG. 1.
FIGS. 3A & 3B illustrate an alternate inlet end portion of the catheter of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4A illustrates an exemplary outlet end portion corresponding to the inlet end portion of Figure FIGS. 2A-2C.
FIG. 4B illustrates an exemplary outlet end portion corresponding to the inlet end portion of Figure FIGS. 3A-3B.
FIG. 5A illustrates the catheter in a collapsed orientation.
FIG. 5B illustrates the catheter in a partially deployed 40 orientation.
FIG. 5C illustrates the catheter in a fully deployed orientation.
FIG. 5D illustrates the catheter in a pre-release orienta45 tion.
FIG. 5E illustrates the catheter in the collapsed orientation after the actuator has been released.
FIG. 6A illustrates the catheter passing through the uri50 nary tract.
FIG. 6B illustrates inserting the inlet end portion of the catheter into the bladder.
FIG. 6C illustrates a deployed inlet end portion of the 55 catheter in the bladder.
FIG. 6D illustrates removing the released catheter from the urinary tract.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE 60 INVENTION
FIG. 1 illustrates a catheter 100 according to the present invention. Catheter 100 includes outer sheath 110, inlet end portion 112, and outlet end portion 114. Outer sheath 110 65 may be constructed from various pliable and resilient materials known in the art, such as rubber, plastic, etc. Inlet end portion 112 includes a stop or retention device 120, tip 122,