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Urethral Catheterization Is Not Necessary During Nononcological Laparoscopic Pelvic Surgery

Nevins, Edward J. MRCS*; Nevins, Elizabeth G. MBChB; Moori, Parisa L. MBChB; Strong, Catherine MRCS*; Al-Zubaidi, Samim MRCS*; Wayman, John FRCS*; Karat, Dayalan FRCS*

doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000612
Review Article

Objectives Expert opinion remains divided regarding whether routine urethral catheterization is required before nononcological laparoscopic pelvic surgery. Catheterization is thought to reduce the incidence of bladder injury when inserting a suprapubic laparoscopic port and prevent obstruction of the view of the pelvis because of bladder filling. However, catheterization comes with a risk of nosocomial infection and harbors financial cost. Moreover, indwelling catheters inhibit early mobilization and increase postoperative discomfort.

Methods A systematic review was undertaken using the Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies guidelines to identify eligible publications. End points included bladder injury, positive postoperative urinary microbiology, and postoperative urinary symptoms.

Results The reported incidence rates of laparoscopic bladder injury in included publications ranges from 0% to 1.3%. Importantly, bladder injury has occurred during both catheterized and noncatheterized operations. Our meta-analysis also shows that patients who are catheterized have a 2.33 times relative risk of developing postoperative positive microbiology in their urine (P = 0.01) and a 2.41 times relative risk of postoperative urinary symptoms (P = 0.005), when compared with noncatheterized patients.

Conclusions This meta-analysis indicates that omitting a catheter in emergency and elective nononcological laparoscopic pelvic surgery may be a safe option. Catheterization does not remove the risk of bladder injury but results in more urinary tract infections and symptoms. It may be reasonable to ask a patient to void immediately before anesthesia, after which an on-table bladder scan should be performed. If there is minimal residual volume, a urinary catheter may not be necessary, unless operative time is estimated to be greater than 90 minutes.

From the *Department of Upper GI Surgery, North Cumbria Hospital

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, North Cumbria Hospital, Cumbria

Department of General Surgery, Royal Blackburn Hospital, Blackburn, United Kingdom.

Correspondence: Edward J Nevins, MRCS, Department of Upper GI Surgery, North Cumbria Hospital, Newton Road, Carlisle, CA2 7HY, United Kingdom (e-mail:

The authors disclose no conflict of interest.

Online date: June 1, 2019

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