A vesicostomy is a temporary opening in the bladder to the outside of the body that allows urine to drain.

The Bladder

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Reasons for Procedure

The opening is created when a problem prevents urine from draining out of the bladder.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, such as:

  • An opening that narrows
  • Bladder tissue that pokes through the opening
  • Tissue that pulls in from the opening
  • Excess bleeding
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Infection

What to Expect

Your child’s doctor will do blood and urine tests. In addition:

  • Food or drink may not be allowed after midnight the night before the procedure.
  • Certain medications may cause complications during the procedure or recovery. These medications may need to be stopped up to 1 week before the procedure.

Talk to your child’s doctor before the procedure about all medications your child is taking, including over-the-counter medications and supplements.

General anesthesia will be used. It will block pain and keep your child asleep through the procedure. It is given through an IV.

A small incision will be made through the skin below the bellybutton. A second incision will be made in the wall of the bladder. A small part of the bladder wall will be turned inside out and sewn to the abdomen.

A catheter may be placed in the opening to help urine drain or it may be left open.

1 hour

Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain after the procedure can be managed with medications.

After the procedure, your child will be observed in a recovery room. Care for the rest of your child’s hospital stay may include:

  • Antibiotics to prevent infection
  • Medication to prevent blood clots
  • Learning how to care for the opening, including how to diaper your child
  • Learning about diet and activity changes

During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your child’s chance of infection such as:

  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing gloves or masks
  • Keeping your child’s incisions covered

There are also steps you and your child can take to reduce your child’s chances of infection such as:

  • Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
  • Reminding your child’s healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
  • Not allowing others to touch your child’s incisions

The urine will be able to drain directly into a diaper. Most can return to activity within a week of surgery.

Call Your Child’s Doctor

Call your child’s doctor if any of these occur:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever or chills
  • Redness, swelling, or warmth around the opening
  • Yellow or green discharge around the opening
  • Pain that does not improve with the medication your child has been given
  • Urine does not drain from the opening
  • Urine that has a bad smell or is cloudy
  • Excess blood in the urine
  • Tissue sticks out of the opening or pulls in from the opening

If you think your child has an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.