J Korean Acad Adult Nurs.  1999 Jun;11(2):240-251.

Analysis of Factors Relating Postoperative Urinary Retention in Patients Undergoing Laparotomy


Urinary retention is a common complication after abdominal surgery. Urinary retention causes infection and damage to the urinary system, prolonging hospital stays and increasing health care costs in the end. Because medical personnel tend to regard urinary retention as not being a serious problem, it is hard to find any method which decrease the postoperative urinary retention. There are few papers reporting the incidence and the factors which influence the postoperative urinary retention. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the incidence of postoperative urinary retention and to identify the factors which affect the postoperative urinary retention. We retrospectively reviewed 296 patients out of 338, who had been undergone laparotomy under spinal or general endotracheal anesthesia during a three month period from January to March 1998. We reviewed nursing, anesthetic and operative records. Among the 296 patients, male were 189(63.9%) and female were 107(36.1%). Postoperative urinary retention occurred in 71 patients(24%). The incidence rate was higher in female patients than in male (M : F=18% : 35%). Factors that in fluence the incidence of postoperative urinary retention were sex, duration of operation, the amount of fluid given the patient, preoperative history of dysuria, and preoperative insertion of a urinary catheter. Among those factors, preoperative urinary catheter insertion is the most effective preventive measure in lowering the incidence of postoperative urinary retention (Spearman correlation coefficient, r=-.462). Shortening the operation time and sparing the fluid which is infused during operation are important in preventing postoperative urinary retention. Preoperative urinary catheter insertion may be helpful in lowering urinary retention in those patients who have a possibility of postoperative urinary retention.

MeSH Terms

Health Care Costs
Length of Stay
Retrospective Studies
Urinary Catheters
Urinary Retention*
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