Study identifies women at risk for urinary tract infections after pelvic-floor surgery

October 9, 2012, Loyola University Health System

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.

" infections are extremely common in women following pelvic-floor surgery," said 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 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.

were collected through a 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 prior to surgery.

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

LUHS' Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and was the first of its kind in greater Chicago. It is still one of the few centers in the country that offers a single location for the multi-disciplinary diagnosis and treatment of women with pelvic-floor disorders. LUHS' urogynecological surgeons, doctors with the combined expertise of gynecology and urology, provide the most advanced medical and surgical care available for women with problems related to the lower urinary tract and the pelvic floor.

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