Purpose: Early postoperative urinary catheter removal decreases urinary tract infection (UTI) rate and accelerates patient mobilization. The aim of this study is to determine the results of systematic urinary catheter removal on postoperative day (POD) 1 in patients undergoing rectal resection for cancer. Patients and Methods: Using a prospectively maintained database of 469 patients who underwent rectal resection for cancer, a retrospective review of all patients with urinary catheter removal on POD1 was conducted. Patients unable to void 6 h after catheter removal underwent in and out urinary catheterization (IOC group) and were compared with patients who voided spontaneously (non-IOC group) to determine risk factors for IOC. Results: A total of 417 patients were identified, including 274 (66%) men. Median age was 59 (50–68) years. Abdominoperineal resection (APR) was performed in 134 (32%), and complex surgery with resection of at least one other organ in 72 (17%) patients. Non-IOC and IOC groups included 245 (59%) and 172 (41%) patients, respectively. Five independent predictive factors for IOC were male gender, obesity, history of obstructive urinary disease, APR, and metastatic disease. The cumulative risk of IOC in patients with zero, one, two, and at least three risk factors was 8%, 31%, 52%, and 68% on POD1, and 2%, 12%, 23%, and 30% on POD5, respectively (p < 0.001). Thirteen patients (3%) developed UTI. Conclusions: Early removal of urinary catheter resulted in 59% of patients voiding spontaneously with no need for IOC following rectal resection. Patients without any predictive factors had less than 10% risk of urinary dysfunction.
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