630411 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Bladder Augmentation—Open Surgery

    (Augmentation, Bladder—Open Surgery; Augmentation Cystoplasty—Open Surgery; Cystoplasty, Augmentation—Open Surgery)


    Bladder augmentation is surgery to increase bladder size.
    The Urinary Tract
    The Urinary Tract
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

    Reasons for Procedure

    Bladder augmentation surgery makes the bladder large enough to collect urine. When the bladder is too small, urine can leak out of the body (incontinence) or back up into the kidneys ( reflux ). This can cause a kidney infection and could damage the kidneys. The procedure is used to treat serious forms 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, leading to urine leakage
    • A neurogenic bladder —problems with nerve signals leading to the brain and muscles, leading to urine leakage or retention

    Possible Complications

    Complications are rare. But, no procedure is completely free of risk. Your doctor will review a list of possible complications, including:
    • Excess bleeding
    • Reaction to anesthesia
    • Infection
    • Blood clots
    • Bladder rupture
    • Abdominal pain
    • Urinary incontinence (may be for a short time or require more surgery to fix)
    • Increased risk of kidney stones
    Smoking may increase the risk of complications.
    Discuss these risks with your doctor.

    What to Expect

    Prior to Procedure

    Your doctor will:
    • Order tests, like blood and urine tests, x-rays , ultrasounds , and bladder pressure studies
    • Talk to you about your medicines—You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the surgery, like:
      • Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, ibuprofen , naproxen )
      • Blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin
      • Clopidogrel
    Before surgery, your doctor may recommend that you:
    • Eat a low-fiber diet .
    • Take antibiotics.
    • Cleanse your bowel—You will drink a special liquid that causes loose stool. The liquid may also be given through a tube placed in the nose down to the stomach.


    General anesthesia will be used. It will block pain and keep you asleep through the surgery.

    Description of the Procedure

    The doctor will make an incision in the abdomen. An incision will also be made on the top part of the bladder. A part of the intestine or stomach will be removed and placed over the opening in the bladder. This new part will work like a patch. The doctor will sew it into place.
    The doctor may also create a stoma. This is a small opening through the abdominal wall to an opening at the top of the bladder. This will make it easier for you to insert the catheter into the bladder.

    Immediately After Procedure

    A catheter will be left in place to drain urine from the bladder.
    You may be given fluids, pain medicines, 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. It will stay in place until your stomach and intestines begin working normally.

    How Long Will It Take?

    4-8 hours

    How Much Will It Hurt?

    Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. Your doctor will give you pain medicines after surgery.

    Average Hospital Stay

    The usual stay is 6-10 days. If you have any problems, you will need to stay longer.

    Post-procedure Care

    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 clear
    • Prompt you to walk
    • Teach 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 (wash out) the bladder using a saline (salt water) solution and a catheter
    At Home
    Do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
    • Take medicine as instructed.
    • 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.
    • Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids.
    • 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 instructed. 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 gives you permission.
    • Return to the doctor in 3-4 weeks for x-rays of the bladder.
    • Follow your doctor’s instructions.

    Call Your Doctor

    Contact your doctor if any of the following occur:
    • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the incision and/or stoma site
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Little urine output, extreme cloudiness or pus in the urine, a bad odor to the urine
    • Difficulty with catheterizing or irrigating
    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.


    National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/

    Urology Care Foundation http://www.urologyhealth.org/


    Canadian Urological Association http://www.cua.org/

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/


    Bladder augmentation. Case Western Reserve University/MetroHealth Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.chrp.org/empowering/ba.shtm . Accessed December 12, 2012.

    Bladder augmentation. Children’s Hospital Boston website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site2091/mainpageS2091P0.html . Accessed December 12, 2012.

    Bladder augmentation. UrologyHealth.org website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=56 . Updated January 2011. Accessed December 12, 2012.

    Bladder augmentation surgery FAQ. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/bladder%5Faugmentation%5Fsurgery/index.html . Accessed December 12, 2012.

    Continent stomas. Case Western Reserve University/MetroHealth Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.chrp.org/empowering/cs.shtm . Accessed December 14, 2012.

    6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.

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