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A meta-analysis comparing suprapubic and transurethral catheterization for bladder drainage after abdominal surgery




Although bladder drainage is widely used for general surgical patients undergoing laparotomy, there is little consensus on whether suprapubic or transurethral catheterization is better.


A systematic database search was undertaken to find all studies of suprapubic catheterization. Randomized controlled trials were identified for inclusion. Endpoints for analysis were bacteriuria, patient satisfaction and recatheterization rates. A meta-analysis was performed using fixed-effect or random-effect models as appropriate, depending on heterogeneity.


After abdominal surgery, transurethral catheterization is associated with significant bacteriuria (relative risk (RR) = 2·02, P < 0·001, 95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) 1·34 to 3·04) and pain or discomfort (RR = 2·94, P = 0·004, 95 per cent c.i. 1·41 to 6·14). Recatheterization rates using the transurethral method were not increased significantly (RR = 1·97, P = 0·213, 95 per cent c.i. 0·68 to 5·74) with heterogeneity between studies.


The suprapubic route for bladder drainage in general surgery is more acceptable to patients and reduces microbiological morbidity. Copyright © 2006 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.