Urinary retention after elective cholecystectomy

Am J Surg. 2001 Sep;182(3):226-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9610(01)00703-6.


Background: There are few reports about urinary retention rate after elective cholecystectomy. We designed a prospective study to assess the problem.

Methods: A total of 121 female and 19 male patients were included in the study with a prospective study protocol. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed in 107 patients and open cholecystectomy in 33 patients.

Results: Neither gender nor age affected rate. Postoperative micturition difficulty developed in 10 patients. Of these patients, 9 could void with helping measures, and only 1 needed catheterization. Only 1 patient who underwent laparoscopic surgery required catheterization (0.7%). The open approach caused a higher incidence of postoperative micturition difficulty than did the laparoscopic approach (15.2% versus 4.7%; P = 0.04). Only large amounts of perioperative fluid administration and meperidine use had statistically significant effects on micturition problems.

Conclusions: Urinary retention is a rare complication after elective cholecystectomy. Helping measures are very effective and should be tried before inserting a urethral catheter.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cholecystectomy / adverse effects*
  • Cholecystectomy / methods
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic / adverse effects
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Urinary Retention / etiology*
  • Urination Disorders / etiology