Early versus delayed urinary catheter removal after hysterectomy: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Michael P Rimmer, Ian Henderson, Stephen D Keay, Khalid S Khan, Bassel H Al Wattar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

OBJECTIVES: In bladder drainage, an essential part of post-hysterectomy care, the optimal timing for removing the urinary catheter is unclear. Our objective was to evaluate the risks and benefits of early (<6 h) vs delayed (>6 h) catheter removal post-hysterectomy.

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review searching MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane CENTRAL from inception till May 2019 for randomised trials of women undergoing hysterectomy. We reported on urinary retention, positive urine culture, urinary tract infection (UTI) (defined by symptoms and/or antibiotic use), post-operative pyrexia, time to ambulation, and length of hospital stay. We assessed risk of bias in included trials and used a random-effect model to generate risk ratios (RR) for dichotomous outcomes and weighted mean differences (WMD) for continuous outcomes, with 95 % confidence intervals (CI).

RESULTS: Of 1020 potentially relevant citations, we included 10 randomised trials (1120 women). Four trials had low risk of bias for randomisation and allocation concealment while five had low risk for outcome assessment and selective reporting. Compared to delayed removal, women in the early catheter removal group had a higher risk of urinary retention and needing re-catheterisation (10 RCTs, RR 3.61, 95 %CI 1.21-9.21, I2 = 56 %). There was some reduction in the risk of post-operative UTI (6 RCTs, RR 0.42, 95 %CI 0.18 to 0.96, I2 = 0 %), but we did not find a significant difference in post-operative pyrexia (6 RCTs, RR 0.73, 95 %CI 0.43-1.24, I2 = 18 %) or positive urine cultures (6 RCTs, RR of 0.56, 95 %CI 0.27-1.12, I2 = 55 %). There was no significant difference in the average time to ambulation (3RCTs, WMD -4.6, 95 %CI -9.16 to -0.18, I2 = 98 %) and length of hospital stay (3RCTs, WMD -1.05, 95 %CI -2.42 to 0.31, I2 = 98 %). Our meta-regression on the provision of prophylactic antibiotics did not show a significant effect on the reported outcomes. Our analysis was limited by our inability to adjust for potential effect modifiers such as the surgical route.

CONCLUSIONS: Early removal of the urinary catheter <6 h post-hysterectomy seems to increase the risk of urinary retention and needing re-catheterisation, but may reduce post-operative UTI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Early online date22 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Early versus delayed urinary catheter removal after hysterectomy: A systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this