Ultrasonographic Assessment of Bladder Volumes in Children Undergoing Penile Surgery: Does the Type of Anesthesia Matter?

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There are scant data reporting postoperative ultrasonographically measured bladder volumes in children undergoing penile surgery.

Study Question:

We studied the effect of various anesthesia techniques on return of micturition after penile surgery in children, using ultrasonographically measured bladder volumes.

Data Sources:

Ultrasonographically measured postvoiding residual bladder volumes indexed to age-appropriate capacity, and time elapsed between the end of surgery and spontaneous voiding after pediatric circumcision, distal hypospadias repair, or repair of urethrocutaneous fistula, were studied.

Study Design:

Children between 4 months and 12 years were randomized to caudal block, intravenous (IV) fentanyl or penile block, in association with inhaled general anesthesia. Bladder volumes were measured before surgery and immediately after voiding for the first time. Time to first postsurgery void was also recorded.


Thirty-one children completed all assessments; 12 underwent caudal block, 9 IV fentanyl anesthesia, and 7 were given penile block. The mean first postvoid bladder residual volumes were highest in the caudal and lowest in the penile block children (27.5 vs. 17.3 mL, P = 0.003). The time elapsing between the end of surgery and first voiding was the longest in the fentanyl group compared with caudal and penile blocks (232, 178, 150 minutes, respectively, P = 0.02).


None of the anesthetic techniques provoked postoperative urinary retention after minor penile surgery in children. The penile block appears superior to caudal block or to IV fentanyl–based anesthesia with regard to postoperative recovery of normal micturition.

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