The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy of a temporary ureteral catheter in preventing iatrogenic ureteral damage in cervical cancer patients undergoing laparoscopic radical hysterectomy. All cases had confirmed diagnoses of cervical cancer preoperatively between December 2008 and December 2012 in our hospital and were in clinical stages IA2 to IIA. In total, 176 laparoscopic radical hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy procedures were performed. The 176 cases were divided into two groups: ureteral catheters were installed using cystoscopy before the operation in 86 patients (group A), and ureteral catheters were not placed in 90 patients (group B). These cases were retrospectively analyzed based on postoperative hospitalization time and intraoperative and postoperative complications. A total of 6 cases (3.41%) had ureteral injuries, and 4 of the cases (4.65%) of ureteral injuries occurred in group A. In two of these cases, urinary leaking appeared at the post-operative 8th and 9th days and at the 10th and 25th days, respectively. There were 2 cases (2.22%) of ureteral injuries in group B: 1 case of intraoperative direct injury and the other of urinary leaking, which appeared at post-operative day 21. Statistically significant differences between the two groups were observed in operating time and the incidence of hemorrhage, hematuria (including microscopic hematuria), post-operative urinary tract infection, and pain (P < 0.05). A ureteral catheter that is placed preoperatively can help to identify the ureter in laparoscopic radical hysterectomy, but does not decrease the incidence of ureteral injury.