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Suprapubic versus transurethral bladder catheterization following pelvic surgery

Healy, Donagh A.a; Walsh, Colin A.b; Walsh, Stewart R.a

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: October 2013 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 410–413
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e3283648d12
UROGYNECOLOGY: Edited by Narender Bhatia

Purpose of review There is uncertainty regarding the optimal method of achieving bladder drainage at the time of gynaecologic surgery. As both transurethral catheterization (TUC) and suprapubic catheterization (SPC) have the potential to cause harm, it is important that gynaecologists have accurate evidence upon which to base their bladder drainage policy.

Recent findings Several clinical trials and meta-analyses have compared TUC with SPC in abdominal and pelvic surgery. Most recently, a large meta-analysis pooled the results of 12 gynaecological trials and found that the use of SPC leads to fewer urinary tract infections (UTIs) without any major complications and without increasing the duration of catheterization or length of hospital stay.

Summary Robust evidence shows that SPC use leads to fewer UTIs when compared with TUC use in gynaecologic surgery. However, SPC use is associated with an increased incidence of minor complications. Future research should aim to assess the acceptability of both SPC and TUC to patients who are undergoing gynaecologic surgery. The quality of similar data in relation to rectal pelvic surgery is poor in comparison to the data on gynaecologic surgery.

aGraduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick

bNational Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

Correspondence to Stewart R. Walsh, MSc, MCh, FRCS, Clinical Academic Liaison Building, St Nessan's Road, Dooradoyle, Limerick, Ireland. Tel: +353 61234960; e-mail:

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins