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Catheter Bags: Why (Tube) Size Matters

Catheter bags are available with a range of tube lengths. Which tube length you decide to use will come down to personal preference, where you like to position the catheter bag and the style of clothing you will be wearing. We look at the tube lengths available as standard on Great Bear’s range of Libra Leg Bags as well as how these can be customised for an even more tailored fit.

catheter bag; urine drainage bag

Direct Inlet

A direct inlet catheter bag has no tube. Instead it connects directly to the catheter or sheath via the connector. A direct inlet can be ideal during the summer months when you may favour shorts, skirts or dresses as the bag will be worn high up on the thigh and more likely to be hidden by your clothing.

Short Tube

Catheter bags with a short tube have a tube length of around 10cm. This will be useful if you like to wear your catheter bag on your thigh still but not quite as high up as a direct inlet. Exactly where the bag will be positioned with a short tube will depend on your height. If you have a shorter leg length, it might be closer to your knee

Long Tube

A long tube catheter bag tends to have a tube length of around 30cm. For many people this will be worn somewhere on the calf, again this will depend on height. It is worth noting that, if worn with shorts or skirts shorter than midi length, the catheter bag would be visible.

Adjustable Tube

Great Bear also offer catheter bags with adjustable tubing, a length of 45cm. These can be used by taller people who need the extra length or, as the name suggests, can be adjusted to the perfect length. If you are a sheath user, you can simply cut the tube length to whatever length you want and attach the spare connector that is included with each bag. This offers flexibility week by week; if there is a heatwave one week and you want to wear shorts you can cut the tube that bit shorter knowing that when you change the catheter bag, you can change the tube length accordingly. It is important to note that, if you are a catheter user, you must not adjust the tube length yourself as it will compromise the sterility. You would need to arrange for your catheter bags to be customised.

So How Can I Get my Catheter Bags Customised?


People come in different shapes and sizes and one of the three standard tube lengths might not always be suitable. If you are a catheter user  and find that is the case, you can arrange to get the tubing of your Great Bear catheter bag cut to the exact length you required through Nightingale’s customisation service. This is a service provided at no cost to you for anyone using Nightingale Home Delivery Service for their continence prescriptions.

If you are still unsure of what tube length you need, you can try a free sample of any of our Libra Leg Bags to help work out which one is right for you. Alternatively, our Nightingale Nurse team are available for support and assessment to ensure you get the right catheter bag to suit your needs.

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Catheter Bags: Why (Tube) Size Matters