Bladder augmentation surgery increases bladder size. It can be done laparoscopically.
The Urinary Tract
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Bladder augmentation surgery makes the bladder large enough to collect urine. When the bladder is too small, it can cause urine to leak out of the body (incontinence) or back up into the kidneys (
). This can cause a
and damage the kidneys. This procedure is used to treat serious cases of incontinence after other treatments have failed.
Birth defects and other conditions, like chronic obstructive bladder damage, can cause the bladder to be too small.
Surgery may also be done if you have: An overactive bladder—bladder muscle contracts when it does not need to, causing urine leakage
—problems with nerve signals leading to the brain and muscles, causing urine leakage or retention
Complications are rare. But no procedure is free of risk. Complications may include: Excess bleedingReaction to anesthesiaInfectionBlood clotsNausea and vomitingBladder ruptureAbdominal painSwitching to open surgeryUrinary incontinence—may be temporary or require more surgery to fix
Increased risk of
These conditions can increase your risk of complications: SmokingExcessive alcohol consumptionChronic conditions, such as diabetesObesity
Discuss these risks with your doctor.
Your doctor will:
Order tests, such as blood and urine tests,
, and bladder pressure studies
Talk to you about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the surgery, like:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofenBlood thinnersAnti-platelet medications
Before surgery, your doctor may recommend that you:
Take antibiotics.Cleanse your bowel—You will drink a special liquid that causes loose stool. The liquid may be given through a tube placed in the nose down to the stomach.
The doctor will make several small, keyhole incisions in the abdomen. A laparoscope will be inserted. This gives the doctor a clear view of the inside of the abdomen.
An incision will be made on the top part of the bladder. The doctor will use tools, like clips and staplers, to remove a piece of the intestine or stomach. After this piece is cut out, a suturing device will be used to close the incision. Next, the doctor will attach the piece of the intestine or stomach to the bladder.
In some cases, the doctor will also create a stoma. This is a small opening through the abdominal wall to an opening that is made at the top of the bladder. These openings will make it easier for you to insert the catheter into the bladder.
Depending on the method your doctor uses, a combination of open and laparoscopic procedures may be done. If you do need open surgery, you will have a larger incision and a longer recovery time.
A catheter will be left in place to drain urine from the bladder.
You may be given fluids, pain medications, and antibiotics through an IV. A tube will be placed through your nose to your stomach. This tube will keep your stomach drained of any contents. This will stay in place until your stomach and intestines begin working normally again.
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. Your doctor will give you pain medications after surgery.
The usual hospital stay is 3-5 days. If you have any problems, you will need to stay longer.
At the hospital, the staff will: Give you fluids and nutrients through an IV—You will not be able to eat until your intestines are working normally. This may take several days. When you are ready, the tube in your nose will be removed. You will begin to take fluids by mouth. You will slowly progress to soft foods.Have you take deep breaths to keep your lungs clearEncourage you to walkTeach you how to insert the catheter through the urethra or through the stoma—Depending on your recovery, the catheter that was placed during surgery may be removed before you go home. If so, you will be taught how to catheterize yourself at home using a tube.Teach you how to irrigate the bladder using a salt water solution and a catheter
At home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery: Take medications as directed.Clean the incision areas with warm water and gentle soap.Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.If you have a catheter, follow the instructions for taking care of it. You may see bloody urine for a few weeks.If you are catheterizing yourself, carefully follow the guidelines for emptying your bladder.Irrigate the bladder as directed. This is especially important if you have a piece of the intestine attached to your bladder. The intestine patch will continue to make mucus. This can clog the catheter tube.Do not drive or do difficult physical activities until the doctor says it is okay.Return to the doctor in 3-4 weeks for x-rays of the bladder.Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Contact your doctor if any of the following occurs: Signs of infection such as fever and chillsRedness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the incision and/or stoma siteNausea and/or vomitingAbdominal painLittle urine output, extreme cloudiness, pus in the urine, or a bad odor to the urineDifficulty with catheterizing or irrigating
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
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Last reviewed August 2013 by Adrienne Carmack, MD; Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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