The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the necessity or urinary catheterization in elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy. From April 1996 to April 1998, 261 patients undergoing elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy at a county hospital were randomized to either receive or not receive preoperative urinary bladder catheterization. Data analyzed included age and gender of patients, length of surgery, and intraoperative and perioperative complications such as visceral injury, urinary tract infection, and urinary retention. Our results showed, although not statistically significant, more urinary tract complications in the "with Foley" group than in the "without Foley" group (four vs one, respectively). There was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to length of operation and perioperative complications. There was no visceral injury or operative mortality in this study. We conclude that urinary catheterization can be omitted safely in elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy.