Voiding trials after female pelvic floor surgery may detect similar rates of voiding dysfunction regardless of whether voiding occurs spontaneously or after the bladder is retrograde-filled with saline, according to a randomized study.
Nevertheless, patients may prefer the more common retrograde-fill approach.
In the study of 109 patients, those who underwent retrograde fill reported significantly greater satisfaction with their method of voiding evaluation, compared with patients whose voiding trials occurred spontaneously. The increased satisfaction could relate to the fact that retrograde-fill trials take less time, study investigator Patrick Popiel, MD, of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., suggested at the virtual annual scientific meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons. The exact reasons are unclear, however.
Voiding trials help identify patients who cannot sufficiently empty their bladder after surgery. Prior research has indicated that the incidence of voiding dysfunction after pelvic floor surgery is about 25%-35%. “Patients with voiding dysfunction are generally managed with an indwelling Foley catheter or clean intermittent self-catheterization,” Dr. Popiel said. “Catheterization increases the risk of urinary tract infection, increases anxiety, and decreases patient satisfaction. A large proportion of patients who are discharged home with a Foley catheter state that the catheter was the worst aspect of their experience.”
Dr. Popiel and colleagues conducted a randomized, prospective study to examine the rate of failed voiding trials that necessitate discharge home with an indwelling Foley catheter using spontaneous and retrograde-fill approaches. The study included women who required a voiding trial after surgery for pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence. Patients who required prolonged catheterization after surgery, such as those with a urinary tract infection, bowel injury, or large amount of blood loss, were excluded.
Researchers analyzed data from 55 patients who were randomly assigned to the retrograde-fill group and 54 patients who were randomly assigned to the spontaneous trial group.
In the spontaneous group, patients were required to void at least 150 mL at one time within 6 hours of catheter removal to successfully complete the voiding trial.
In the retrograde-fill group, the bladder was filled in the postanesthesia care unit with 300 mL of saline or until the maximum volume tolerated by the patient (not exceeding 300 mL ) was reached. Patients in this group had to void at least 150 mL or 50% of the instilled volume at one time within 60 minutes of catheter removal to pass the trial.
The researchers documented postvoid residual (PVR) but did not use this measure to determine voiding function.
The baseline demographics of the two groups were similar, although prior hysterectomy was more common in the retrograde-fill group than in the spontaneous group (32.7% vs. 14.8%). The average age was 58.5 years in the retrograde-fill group and 61 years in the spontaneous group.
“There was no significant difference in our primary outcome,” Dr. Popiel said. “There was a 12.7% rate of failed voiding trial in the retrograde group versus 7.7% in the spontaneous group.”
No patients had urinary retention after initially passing their voiding trial. Force of stream did not differ between groups, and about 15% in each group had a postoperative urinary tract infection.
The study demonstrates that voiding assessment based on a spontaneous minimum void of 150 mL is safe and has similar pass rates, compared with the more commonly performed retrograde void trial, Dr. Popiel said. “If the voided amount is at least 150 mL, PVR is not critical to obtain. The study adds to the body of literature that supports less stringent criteria for evaluating voiding function and can limit postoperative urinary recatheterization.”
The investigators allowed patients with PVRs as high as 575 mL to return home without an alternative way to empty the bladder, C. Sage Claydon, MD, a urogynecologist who was not involved in the study, noted during a discussion after the presentation. In all, 6 patients who met the passing criteria for the spontaneous voiding trial had a PVR greater than 200 mL, with volumes ranging from 205-575 mL.
The patients received standardized counseling about postoperative voiding problems, said Dr. Popiel. “This is similar to the work done by Ingber et al. from 2011, where patients who reached a certain force of stream, greater than 5 out of 10, were discharged home regardless of PVR.”
Dr. Popiel had no relevant disclosures. Two coinvestigators disclosed ties to BlossomMed, Renovia, and ArmadaHealth.
SOURCE: Popiel P et al. SGS 2020, Abstract 14.