Surgery Doesn’t End All Pelvic Problems

Urinary tract infections during pelvic floor surgery may come back within six weeks

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Women who may have a urinary tract infection (UTI) on the day of surgery for their pelvic floor disorder are likely to have another UTI in the first six weeks after the procedure, a new study has found. 

One in five patients who have surgery to treat a pelvic floor disorder develop a UTI afterwards.

Pelvic floor disorders are problems in women's pelvic organs, including the bladder, vagina, rectum and womb.

"Ask your doctor for hygiene tips to help prevent a UTI."

Urinary tract infections can cause pain, cramping and the frequent need to go to the bathroom.

Researchers from Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine aimed to see how many women who had a UTI going into surgery would develop another one weeks later.

They collected urine samples from 284 female patients before giving antibiotics for surgery at Loyola University Medical Center.

If the pre-operation urine samples contained more than 1,000 colonies per milliliter of bacteria, it tested positive for a UTI.

Researchers found that 27 patients tested positive for an infection. Their urine samples were compared to those of 54 women without an infection.

“Urinary tract infections are extremely common in women following pelvic floor surgery,” said Cynthia Fok, MD fellow in the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at Loyola.

“This research will help us to identify and treat patients who are at risk for urinary tract infections to reduce the incidence of this complication following surgery."

Almost 10 percent of patients tested positive for a UTI on the day of their surgery.

They found that women with a positive culture had an almost 30 percent increased risk of developing a UTI within six weeks after surgery, even when given antibiotics beforehand.

The risk for women who did not have a positive culture was only 5 percent.

“Further research will be necessary to determine how we better manage these patients preoperatively to prevent complications following surgery,” Dr. Fok said.

The study was presented October 3-6 at the American Urogynecologic Society’s 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago. Research presented at academic conferences should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 17, 2012
Last Updated:
October 31, 2012