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A PLEA FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE RETENTION CATHETER IN THE PREPARATION OF PATIENTS FOR PROSTATIC SURGERY

Richard P. Middleton, M.D.
JAMA. 1940;114(24):2368-2369. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.62810240001008.
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Few therapeutic measures in urology are more unquestioningly accepted by the profession than the urethral retention catheter in the preparation of patients for surgery directed to the relief of prostatic obstruction. Notwithstanding this almost universal approbation, it is my purpose to plead, on grounds of personal experience and what I consider sound logical considerations, for the abolition of this time-honored device.

Thompson1 has called attention in recent years to the uselessness or even harmfulness of routine retention catheter preparation for patients whose renal function is essentially normal as shown by dye excretion tests and blood chemistry examinations. My own experience has confirmed this suggestion, and most patients are now submitted to prostatic resection forthwith, as soon as studies have indicated a satisfactory general condition and adequate renal function. In deference to tradition, however, I still cling to a short period of catheter preparation in those cases in which the

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