A urostomy creates a permanent stoma in the abdomen. During the surgical procedure, the surgeon takes a piece of the small intestine to use as a conduit between the ureters and the outside of the body. He then disconnects ureters from the bladder and connects them with the conduit. The other end of the conduit is pulled out through a small cut in the belly to create a stoma. A bag is placed over the stoma to collect urinary wastes.
What is a bladder?
The bladder is a balloon-shaped organ that stores urine until you feel the urge to urinate. Kidneys filter out urine from the blood and supply it to kidneys through ureters. When the bladder fills with urine, we go to the toilet and pass it out through the urethra.
Reasons for a urostomy
People with bladder cancer may have to undergo surgery aimed at removing a part of the entire bladder. This surgery is known as a cystectomy. In such a scenario, it becomes crucial to create a urostomy to redirect urine away from the bladder. Women getting treatment for uterine or cervical cancer are also candidates for a urostomy. A urostomy is usually permanent.
Types of urostomy
The two types of urostomy are the following.
- Standard or conventional urostomy: During this surgical procedure, the surgeon removes a part of the ileum and uses it to connect ureters to an opening in the abdomen. After surgery, the urine passes out through the stoma instead of the urethra.
- Continent urostomy: This procedure involves the creation of an internal pouch to hold urine. This pouch usually consists of live tissues from the bowel. It connects to an opening in the abdomen through a valve. The good thing about this urostomy is that it allows you to empty the internal pouch at your will. You can empty this pouch with the help of a catheter, which you will have to insert through the abdominal opening.
What to expect from a urostomy
Before the surgeon begins the procedure, you will be given general anesthesia. It will put you to sleep for the entire duration of surgery. That way, you will not remember anything about surgery. The surgeon will remove a piece of the ileum of 6-8 inches. This piece of the bowel acts as a passageway between the ureters and the outside of the body. One end of this piece of the intestine or ileal conduit connects with ureters, while the other end appears on the abdominal wall. The surgical procedure may last 3-5 hours.
Recovery after surgery
You will have to stay in the hospital for up to ten days after surgery. During this time, you will have to take liquid and pasty foods. You will also get a fair amount of nutrition supply from a tube inserted in your vein. The entire recovery period lasts 6-8 weeks. You will be able to eat anything you want and engage in your favorite physical activity after this recovery duration.
You will have to learn how to empty and change your urostomy pouch. Your ostomy care nurse will tell you everything about it. You can also ask the nurse if you run into any confusion.