Rebecca J. Stahl, MA
Bladder augmentation is surgery to increase bladder size.
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
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:
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:
Your doctor will:
Before surgery, your doctor may recommend that you:
will be used. It will block pain and keep you asleep through the surgery.
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.
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. It will stay in place until your stomach and intestines begin working normally.
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
The usual stay is 6-10 days. If you have any problems, you will need to stay longer.
After your procedure, the hospital staff 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:
To help ensure a smooth recovery:
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.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
Bladder augmentation. Case Western Reserve University/MetroHealth Medical Center website. Available at:
http://www.chrp.org/empowering/ba.shtm. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Bladder augmentation. Boston Children’s Hospital website. Available at:
http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/treatments/bladder-augmentation. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Bladder augmentation (enlargement). Urology Care Foundation website. Available at:
http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/bladder-augmentation-(enlargement). Updated January 2011. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Bladder augmentation surgery FAQ. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital website. Available at:
https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/bladder_augmentation_surgery/index.html. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Continent stomas. Case Western Reserve University/MetroHealth Medical Center website. Available at:
http://www.chrp.org/empowering/cs.shtm. Accessed August 8, 2013.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Am J Med.
Last reviewed June 2015 by Adrienne Carmack, 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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