Objectives. Postoperative urethral catheter drainage after radical prostatectomy is bothersome to patients. A pilot study was initiated to determine if urethral catheter removal prior to hospital discharge is feasible. Methods. Thirty-three consecutive men undergoing radical retropubic prostatectomy were prospectively studied and followed for a minimum of 6 months (mean, 8.5). Postoperative cystography was utilized to direct early catheter removal. Results. Of 33 patients, 27 (82%) underwent successful catheter removal at a mean of 4.2 postoperative days. No patient experienced urinary retention, urinoma development, pelvic abscess, or anastomotic stricture. Urinary continence is excellent (no pads required) in 70% and good (stress incontinence requiring 1 to 2 pads/24 hours) in 18% of patients at last follow-up. Conclusions. Following radical prostatectomy, early catheter removal prior to hospital discharge is feasible. Early results suggest no deleterious consequences. Prospective monitoring of more patients is needed to determine if this practice is widely applicable.
ASJC Scopus subject areas