The patient is traditionally maintained on constant bladder drainage for 5 to 7 days. In males the loss of bladder tone may result in one of the most distressing postoperative complications. Frequent and thorough evaluation of the patient's ability to empty the bladder is essential until good function has returned. The catheter should be clamped for several hours at a time to determine whether the patient actually has retained the sensation arising from a full bladder. In many cases, especially in males, a cystometric study should be considered before removing the catheter. The catheter should be removed early in the morning to permit all-day observations on the patient's ability to void. Overdistention should be rigorously avoided by catheterizing the patient for residual urine every 4 to 6 hours, depending upon his or her fluid intake. Diuretic liquids, such as coffee and tea, should be withheld from the evening meal in an effort to avoid overdistention of the bladder during the night. Frequent urination of small amounts indicates retention, and reinsertion of the catheter for a few days should be considered. Rigid attention to the care of the bladder with assistance from the urologic surgeon pays rich dividends in the patient's postoperative progress.