The Foley catheter is a urinary catheter with a balloon at its distal tip, which is inflated post-insertion to ensure that the catheter remains in the bladder. Originally inflation of the balloon required the instillation of fluid or air via a separate port, next to the external end of the catheter, but modern catheters have a built-in reservoir which can be used to inflate the balloon.
The American urologist Frederic EB Foley (1891-1966) 3 first provided details of his now eponymous "hemostatic bag catheter" in an article in 1929, although in a later paper stated he had developed it in 1927 1,2. It was originally introduced as a way of controlling perioperative and postoperative hemorrhage during and after a cystoscopic prostatectomy. He continued to refine it and in an article in 1937 described his improved "self-retaining bag catheter" 2.
- 1. Foley FEB. Cystoscopic Prostatectomy A New Procedure and Instrument; Preliminary Report. J Urol. 1929;21:289-306.
- 2. Foley FEB. A self-retaining bag catheter. J Urol. 1937;38:140–3. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5347(17)71936-2
- 3. Creange C, Enriquez R, Swan K. Frederic E.B. Foley: beyond the catheter. (2013) The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 75 (3): 520-4. doi:10.1097/TA.0b013e31829bb866 - Pubmed