A 23-year review of the management of acute retention of urine: Progressing or regressing?

P. Modi, J. Pleat, P. Cheetham, J. Senior, R. Johan, G. J. Fellows

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A retrospective review of all patients in Oxford under the care of one consultant urologist (GJF) who presented on alternate years over a 23-year period with acute retention of urine was undertaken. Data were collected on the: (i) number of patients discharged from hospital with an in-dwelling catheter; (ii) duration of catheter drainage prior to surgery; and (iii) duration of postoperative stay. In all, 244 patients underwent prostatectomy. Over the 23-year period, there was a significant increase in the proportion of patients discharged prior to surgery (P <0.001) as well as their median duration of catheterisation (P <0.001): more than 50% were catheterised for more than 3 months in 1997. Conversely, post-operative hospital stay has decreased. Prolonged catheter drainage carries considerable morbidity, with 72% experiencing some complication. Most patients feel they lose dignity, 69% consider it uncomfortable and more than 50% complain of burning sensations, bladder spasms and a persistent desire to micturate. We recommended that patients should not be placed on routine waiting lists where they are liable to remain for an unacceptably long time. Targets should be set to admit them within a set period and theatre lists made available. We feel that six weeks is a realistic target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-335
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute retention
  • Catheter
  • Quality of life


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