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Bladder Augmentation

Bladder Augmentation

This operation has several names:

  • Augmentation cystoplasty
  • Bladder augmentation
  • Clam cystoplasty
  • Ileocystoplasty
  • Bramble cystoplasty
  • Enterocystoplasty

This is a major operation indicated for Overactive Bladder and the symptoms of urge and urgency. It involves cutting open the bladder, like a clam, and sewing a patch of intestine between the two halves. The patch can be made of small intestine (ileocystoplasty), large intestine (sigmoid cystoplasty) or stomach lining (gastro cystoplasty). The aim of all of these is to increase bladder capacity and reduce the effect of the contractions of the bladder.

The operation will usually take 1 to 2 hours. After the operation a catheter is put in place. This is left in place for up to 7 to 10 days to keep the bladder empty while it heals. The average time needed in hospital after the operation is 10 days, but complete recovery can take 3 to 4 months.

Around two-thirds of all people who have this operation are cured, and three quarters are improved in some way.

The operation can cause extra problems, including:

  • The need to use a catheter - mucus from the patch of intestine can block the bladder outlet. As well as this, the enlarged bladder cannot contract strongly enough to push out all the urine. So most people who have this operation have to use catheters to go to the toilet. This will be permanent, for the rest of their lives.
  • Diarrhoea - since some of the bowel is cut out, diarrhoea and other bowel/nutritional problems can be caused.
  • Infections in the bladder - bacteria from the patch of bowel can cause recurrent infections in the bladder and urinary tract.
  • Bladder stones - this operation makes it more likely that people will develop bladder stones. Regular check-ups will make sure that these are spotted at an early stage.