Catheter  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In medicine, a catheter (Template:IPA-en) is a tube that can be inserted into a body cavity, duct, or vessel. Catheters thereby allow drainage, administration of fluids or gases, or access by surgical instruments. The process of inserting a catheter is catheterization. In most uses, a catheter is a thin, flexible tube ("soft" catheter), though in some uses, it is a larger, solid ("hard") catheter. A catheter left inside the body, either temporarily or permanently, may be referred to as an indwelling catheter. A permanently inserted catheter may be referred to as a permcath (originally a trademark).

The ancient Syrians created catheters from reeds. "Katheter - καθετήρ" originally referred to an instrument that was inserted such as a plug. The word "katheter" in turn came from "kathiemai - καθίεμαι" meaning "to sit". The ancient Greeks inserted a hollow metal tube through the urethra into the bladder to empty it and the tube came to be known as a "katheter".

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Catheter" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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