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(Urinary Diversion Surgery)
by Deanna M. Neff, MPH
An ostomy creates an opening in the abdominal wall. A urostomy reroutes urine so that urine can pass through this new opening to a bag outside the body. Sometimes an internal pouch is created using the intestine.
You should be able to return to normal activities after your urostomy.
Reasons for Procedure TOP
A urostomy may be needed if urine is not able to pass through the urinary system. Most of the time, a urostomy is needed because of problems with the bladder such as:.
Possible Complications TOP
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems like:
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications, such as:
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor will go over your family and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Part of the exam may include tests, like:
You may also need to:
You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.
General anesthesia will keep you asleep during the procedure.
Description of the Procedure TOP
An incision is made in the abdomen. A piece of intestine will be removed. The tubes that pass urine to the bladder will be detached from the bladder. The tubes are then reattached to the intestine that was removed. The other end of the intestine is then brought through the abdominal wall to form a stoma. One end is closed together to make a pouch that holds urine inside the body. The bladder may or may not be removed.
The abdomen will be closed. Stitches or staples will be used to close the skin.
Immediately After Procedure TOP
You will be taken to the recovery room where your pulse, blood pressure, and temperature will be monitored.
How Long Will It Take? TOP
About 2-5 hours.
How Much Will It Hurt? TOP
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
Average Hospital Stay TOP
You will be in the hospital for a few days. Your doctor may keep you in the hospital longer if you have any complications.
Post-procedure Care TOP
At the Hospital
At the hospital, you will:
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
When you return home:
Call Your Doctor TOP
It is important for you to monitor your recovery after you leave the hospital. Alert your doctor to any problems right away. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Cancer Society
United Ostomy Associations of America
Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian Urological Association
Bladder cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated May 6, 2016. Accessed June 1, 2016.
Urostomy guide. United Ostomy Associations of America website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated 2011. Accessed June 1, 2016.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 5/28/2014
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