Study Identifies Women at Risk for Urinary Tract Infections After Pelvic-Floor Surgery

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Women who have a positive urine culture test on the day of surgery for a pelvic-floor disorder are more likely to have a urinary tract infection (UTI) in the first six weeks after the procedure. These findings were presented this past week by researchers from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine at the American Urogynecologic Society’s 33rd annual scientific meeting in Chicago.

“Urinary tract infections are extremely common in women following pelvic-floor surgery,” says Cynthia Fok, MD, fellow, Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. “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."

One in five patients who undergo surgery for a pelvic-floor disorder develops a UTI following the procedure. With this in mind, researchers evaluated the proportion of patients with a positive day-of-surgery urine culture and the consequences of a positive culture.

Urine samples were collected through a catheter in the operating room before a patient was given antibiotics prior to surgery. A culture was considered positive if more than 1,000 colonies per milliliter of bacteria were found in the sample.

Nearly one-tenth of patients had positive day-of-surgery cultures. Women with a positive culture had an increased risk (29.6 percent versus 5.6 percent) of developing a UTI within six weeks after surgery despite antibiotic use prior to surgery.

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

Source: Loyola University Health System

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