The William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History maintains a large collection of urologic instruments, books and illustrations. Items in the collection span the full history of urology and touch on every aspect of the specialty. Search our collection to learn more about the tools, training and ideas of urologist.
For someone suffering from acute urinary retention, nothing spells relief quite like a catheter. Today's catheters are safe, indispensable diagnostic and treatment tools in many specialties, employed as much to inject fluid as to drain it. In cardiology, for instance, they're the conduit for radiopaque dye to magnify coronary arteries and miniature stents to unblock them. But the history of the catheter belongs to urology—and the process of draining a painfully distended bladder dates to antiquity. Catheterization is one of civilization's first therapeutic interventions.