Objectives. To investigate the feasibility of early catheter removal following radical prostatectomy. Methods. Fifty-eight consecutive patients underwent radical prostatectomy, with intent of early catheter removal. Catheter removal was based on postoperative cystograms performed on postoperative day (POD) 3 or 4. Charts were retrospectively reviewed and patients were contacted by phone and specifically questioned regarding continence and bladder control. Results. Fifty-one patients (87.9%) had a cystogram performed on POD 3 or 4. In 43 patients (74.1%), the catheter was successfully removed prior to hospital discharge. Eight patients experienced either early or late complications (excluding incontinence); these included 3 patients with a superficial wound infection, 2 patients with hematuria requiring reinsertion of a urethral catheter, 1 patient with a spontaneous pneumothorax, 1 patient who developed a deep vein thrombosis and lymphocele, and 1 patient with a bladder neck contracture. Urinary continence was reported as excellent to good in 86% of the patients at a mean follow-up of 17.4 months. Three patients (5%) underwent placement of an artificial urinary sphincter. Conclusions. Catheter removal prior to hospital discharge after radical prostatectomy is feasible without any increase in morbidity.
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