A urostomy is created after the removal of the bladder. During this procedure, the surgeon takes a piece of the small intestine to create a reservoir or passageway to connect ureters with the outside of the body. The end of the ileum that sticks out on the abdomen becomes a stoma. Urostomy surgery is one of the most common treatments for bladder cancer.
Who can get a urostomy?
You may have to undergo urostomy surgery if your bladder is removed or fails to perform its function. Some reasons for urostomy are the following.
- Bladder cancer
- Bladder exstrophy
- Damage to nerves responsible for controlling your bladder
- Bladder inflammation
- Spinal cord injury
Preparing for surgery
The pre-surgery preparation involves some tests to make sure that you are in good health to undergo the procedure. These tests include:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Chest X-ray
- Blood tests
You will meet your surgeon and ostomy care nurse. They will mark the stoma spot on your belly. The purpose of marking this spot is to make sure that your stoma doesn’t interfere with your routine life after surgery. The nurse will also explain the use of the ostomy pouch.
At this point, you will have to tell your doctor about any medications you take. Those include over-the-counter drugs and supplements. The doctor will probably ask you to stop taking any blood thinners a week before surgery. If you smoke, you will have to quit smoking.
You may have to go on a liquid diet a day before surgery. Your doctor will also tell you to stop eating or drinking anything after midnight. It is best to take a shower and wash your abdomen with antibacterial soap.
Since urostomy is an inpatient procedure, you will have to stay in the hospital for a few days after surgery.
You will undergo surgery under the influence of general anesthesia. That means you will be asleep during the procedure.
During surgery, the surgeon will remove a small piece of the ileum. He will then connect the rest of the bowel.
One end of that piece of the ileum will connect with ureters, while the other end will appear on the outside of the belly. Urine will enter into the piece of the ileum and pass out through the stoma. You will have to wear an ostomy bag over the stoma to manage urine evacuations.
The surgical procedure will take three to five hours. After that, you will be moved to the special care unit, where you will have to stay for a couple of days. Your doctor and surgical staff will monitor your health status.
You will need to stay at the hospital for three to ten days after surgery. The purpose of keeping you hospitalized is that your doctor and surgeon will want to make sure that you are recovering without showing any symptoms of post-surgery complications.
At home, you will have to get bed rest and avoid strenuous physical activities. Moreover, you will have to be mindful of your ostomy care regimen, which mainly includes emptying and changing the ostomy pouch regularly. Make sure to take care of the skin around the stoma. You can discuss all these matters with your ostomy care nurse or healthcare provider.