Stephan et al listed criteria for the placement of urinary catheters in patients undergoing orthopedic or abdominal surgery. Reduced frequency and duration of catheter use is associated with significant decreases in urinary tract infections, the use of antibiotics and noninfectious complications. The authors are from the University of Geneva.


Patient groups:

(1) hip replacement or related surgery

(2) total knee replacement

(3) abdominal surgery


Reason for Catheter Placement in the OR

Hip Replacement

Knee Replacement


> 75 years

> 80 years

ASA class

III to V





urinary incontinence




Other reason for placement of a urinary catheter:

(1) predicted duration of surgery > 5 hours

(2) clinical judgment during postanesthesia care


Urinary catheters are not placed:

(1) just because the patient had not urinated during recovery

(2) based on urinary bladder volume measurements


Criteria for Removal

Hip Replacement

Knee Replacement

postoperative day

2 (third day of use)

1 (second day of use)


A catheter placed because of long duration surgery was usually removed before the patient left the ICU or PACU.


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