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Risk of Urinary Recatheterization for Thoracic Surgical Patients with Epidural Anesthesia

Author(s): Luis E. De León, Namrata Patil, Philip M. Hartigan, Abby White, Carlos E. Bravo-Iñiguez, Sam Fox, Jeffrey Tarascio, Scott J. Swanson, Raphael Bueno, Michael T. Jaklitsch

Background: Current quality guidelines recommend the removal of urinary catheters on or before postoperative day two, to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact urinary catheter removal on the need for urinary recatheterization (UR) of patients with epidural anesthesia undergoing thoracic surgery.

Materials and Methods: All patients undergoing thoracic surgery between November 4th, 2017 and January 9th, 2018 who had a urinary catheter placed at the time of intervention were prospectively evaluated. Patient characteristics including: history of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), catheter related variables and rates of UR were collected through chart review and daily visits to the wards. BPH was defined as history of transurethral resection of the prostate or treatment with selective α1-adrenergic receptor antagonists.

Results: Over a two-month period 267 patients were included, 124 (46%) were male. Epidural catheters were placed in 88 (33%) patients. Median duration of urinary catheters for the cohort was 1 day (0 days – 18 days), and it was significantly higher in patients with epidural anesthesia (Table 1). Overall 20 (7%) patients required UR. On initial analysis, there was no statistical difference in the rate of UR among patients with and without epidural catheters [9/88 (10%) vs 11/179 (6%), p=0.23). The rate of UR was higher in males than in females (14/124 (11%) vs 6/143 (4%), p=0.03). Fifteen (12%) patients had a diagnosis of BPH. The rate of UR was three-times higher in this group than in those without BPH [4/15 (27%) vs 10/109 (9%) p=0.05]. Four (1%) patients developed a CAUTI during follow-up, and the rate of CAUTI was not different between those with and without epidural catheters.

Conclusion: Urinary catheters in patients with thoracic epidural anesthesia can be safely removed, as evidenced by low reinsertion and infection rates. Removal of urinary catheters in patients with a history of BPH should be carefully evaluated, as over 1/4 will require urinary recatheterization in this subgroup. Further study of this group is needed to avoid unnecessary patient discomfort associated with recatheterization.

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