One of the problems some people have with intermittent catheterization is getting the catheter into the urethra because of the hand function that is required.

Urologists have developed a surgical solution to this problem called a continent stoma.


Q: What is involved with a continent stoma surgery procedure?

A: The surgeon places a small opening on the belly wall, sometimes in the belly button and attaches a part of your intestine to that opening. The other end is attached to an opening made into the bladder.

This makes a tunnel into the bladder through which it is much easier to pass the catheter.

The tunnel is long enough that is doesn’t leak urine even when the bladder is pretty full.


Q: How long will I have to be in the hospital after this surgery?

A: This surgery usually requires about three days in the hospital. It is sometimes done with a bladder augmentation surgery that expands your bladder capacity.


Q: Are there complications with this surgery?

A: As with any surgical procedure there may be complications from the surgery, but these appear to be infrequent and relate to the tunnel getting tight as time passes or infections in the bladder.

The long term follow-up that has been reported for this procedure is generally limited to no more than 5 years.


Q: What type of bladder technique will I use with a continent stoma?

A: After the skin opening is healed the intermittent catheterization approach is used to empty the bladder.

Because the opening is easily seen most people find inserting the catheter to be easier after the continent stoma is put in place.