OBJECTIVES: We performed two randomized prospective studies with the silver-coated Bardex IC catheter in order to evaluate the incidence of bacteriuria during short- and medium-term catheterization after urological procedures. METHODS: During catheterization only consecutive suprapubic urine samples were taken and cultured. After removal of the catheter the patient was allowed one wash-out void, and before the second micturition a suprapubic puncture was performed to collect a culture specimen. RESULTS: In the first trial, after radical prostatectomy 18 patients with the Bardex IC catheter were compared to 17 patients with a silicon catheter after the same procedure. There was no significant difference in bacteriuria after 14 days (50.0 vs. 53.3%). In the second part of the study 180 patients were evaluated 101 with latex and 79 with Bardex IC catheters. The median catheterization time was 5 days. The results show a significant delay in the onset of bacteriuria when a silver alloy catheter is used (p < 0.003). On day 5 only 6.3% had bacteriuria in the Bardex IC group versus 11.9% in the latex group. CONCLUSION: We conclude that, after urological procedures, short-term catheterization with the Bardex IC catheter is superior to the classical latex catheter.