Indwelling urinary catheters are commonly used for patients undergoing general and orthopaedic surgery. Despite infectious and non-infectious harms of urinary catheters, there is limited guidance available to surgery teams regarding appropriate perioperative catheter use.Objective
Using the RAND Corporation/University of California Los Angeles (RAND/UCLA) Appropriateness Method, we assessed the appropriateness of indwelling urinary catheter placement and different timings of catheter removal for routine general and orthopaedic surgery procedures.Methods
Two multidisciplinary panels consisting of 13 and 11 members (physicians and nurses) for general and orthopaedic surgery, respectively, reviewed the available literature regarding the impact of different perioperative catheter use strategies. Using a standardised, multiround rating process, the panels independently rated clinical scenarios (91 general surgery, 36 orthopaedic surgery) for urinary catheter placement and postoperative duration of use as appropriate (ie, benefits outweigh risks), inappropriate or of uncertain appropriateness.Results
Appropriateness of catheter use varied by procedure, accounting for procedure-specific risks as well as expected procedure time and intravenous fluids. Procedural appropriateness ratings for catheters were summarised for clinical use into three groups: (1) can perform surgery without catheter; (2) use intraoperatively only, ideally remove before leaving the operating room; and (3) use intraoperatively and keep catheter until postoperative days 1-4. Specific recommendations were provided by procedure, with postoperative day 1 being appropriate for catheter removal for first voiding trial for many procedures.Conclusion
We defined the appropriateness of indwelling urinary catheter use during and after common general and orthopaedic surgical procedures. These ratings may help reduce catheter-associated complications for patients undergoing these procedures.