Comparing the Effects of Hot Pack and Lukewarm-Water-Soaked Gauze on Postoperative Urinary Retention; A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial


1 1School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trauma Nursing Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran

2 2School of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran



Background Urinary retention is a common postoperative complication that mandates urinary catheterization. Urinary catheterization is associated with different physical, mental, and financial problems for both patients and healthcare systems. The patient inconvenience, urinary tract infections, and increase in hospital stay and expenses are common problems of urinary retention and urinary catheterization. Therefore, alternative ways of relieving urinary retention, preferably noninvasive interventions, are of great interest. Objectives The aim of this study was to compare the effects of placing hot pack and lukewarm-water-soaked gauze on the suprapubic region on male patients with postoperative urinary retention. Patients and Methods This was a three-group, randomized, controlled trial. A convenience sample of 126 male patients who had undergone general, orthopedic, or urologic surgeries were recruited. The block randomization method was used for allocating patients to either the two experimental groups (the hot pack and the lukewarm-water-soaked gauze groups) or the control one. Patients in the experimental groups were treated by placing either hot pack or lukewarm-water-soaked gauze on the suprapubic region. All patients were monitored for 20 minutes for urinary retention relief. If they did not experience urinary retention relief (starting urine flow and bladder evacuate), urinary catheterization would be performed. The data was collected using information sheet. Elimination of urinary retention was compared among study groups. The one-way analysis of variance and the Chi-square tests were used for analyzing data. Results Respectively, 59.5%, 71.4%, and 7.1% of patients in the hot pack, the soaked gauze, and the control groups experienced relief from urinary retention and the bladder was emptied. There was a significant difference among study groups in percentage of patients who experienced urinary retention relief. However, the difference between the two experimental groups was not significant. The time to urinary retention relief in hot pack, soaked gauze, and control groups was 15.45 ± 3.15, 13.83 ± 3.80, and 14.59 ± 3.29 minutes, respectively. The difference among the study groups in time to urinary retention relief was not statistically significant. Conclusions Both the lukewarm-water-soaked gauze and the hot pack techniques had significant effects on postoperative urinary retention and significantly reduced the need for urinary catheterization. Using these two simple and cost-effective techniques for managing postoperative urinary retention is recommended.