A Comparison of Six Balloon Catheter Products



Most urological catheters contain a small balloon that inflates once the catheter is in place in order to keep it from slipping out. With this article I discuss six similar catheters and related products that use such health resources.

(1) The Ascend AQ Uteral Balloon by Cook Medical is used primarily for patients either preparing to undergo surgery for kidney stone removal or uteroscopy. The catheter's "hydrophoillic" exterior allows it to remain easily visible as well as maintain high-pressure dilation. The coating also reduces friction and allows for the catheter to advance through the urethral opening toward the bladder with as little resistance as possible. Speed and ease of use are the primary emphases on this product's design.

(2) Another related Cook Medical product is the Balloon Ureteral Dilator Set. Also used for patients suffering kidney stones or undergoing uteroscopy, this product can also be used to dilate the patient's intramural ureter. Both ends of the catheter, distal and proximal, are fitted with a "radiopaque" marker with which makes it more easily visible in X-ray images.

(3) The Tipless Balloon Catheter is typically used for opening the ureteral opening before patients undergo kidney stone surgery. This design's function is to open the ureter directly beneath the stone’s location. Like the Balloon Ureteral Dilator Set, this product also comes equipped with radiopaque markers. It can inflate to a maximum of 60 pounds of air pressure per square inch.

(4) The purpose of the UPJ Occlusion Balloon Catheter Set is to, for a temporary period of time, prevent pieces of broken stones from getting into the ureteral opening during lithotripsy during the break down and removal of kidney stones.

(5) The UroMax Ultra™ High Pressure Balloon Catheter is made of extremely strong composite materials that allow it to exert up to 20ATM. This is more than enough pressure to dilate the most resistant areas of the urethra and ureter. 

Uromax also designed a special type of “non-compliant” balloon that guarantees to maintain its shape even when subjected to extreme pressures. These non-compliant balloons also allow the catheter a small circumference capable of negotiating even the most circuitous and resistant tracts.

(6) The relatively new X-Force N30 Nephrostomy Balloon Dilation Catheter provides a new alternative for procedures that require percutaneous dilation. This catheter can deliver as much as much as 30 ATM, making it one of the highest rated medical supplies of this variety currently available on the market.