If your bladder or urinary system is damaged or diseased and you are unable to pass urine normally, you will need a urinary diversion. This is called a urostomy, an ileal conduit or a Bricker bladder.
How is a urostomy made?
During the most commonly performed urostomy surgery, called an ileal conduit, the surgeon takes a six to eight inch piece of the small bowel (the ileum) and makes it into a conduit (or pipeline) for urine. The remainder of the small bowel is reconnected so your bowel will function as it did before surgery. This process is similar to splicing a hose. The ureters (tubes that carry urine from each kidney to the bladder) are removed from the bladder and joined to the piece of ileum (small bowel). One end of the piece of ileum that was removed is sewn closed and the other end is brought through an opening on the abdomen (belly). The part of the ileum you see on your abdomen is called the stoma. The stoma will probably stick out from the abdomen about 1 inch. This is where urine will now drain from your body.
How does a urostomy look?
A healthy stoma is moist and red or pink in colour. The stoma has no nerve endings, so it will not hurt when touched. It is normal for the stoma to be large and swollen after surgery, however, it will shrink to a smaller size within a few weeks. You may see your stoma move slightly. This is a normal process that had helped push stool through your bowel and now helps drain urine outward and into the pouch on your abdomen. Just like your gums bleed when brushing your teeth, your stoma may also bleed slightly. However, if your urine is cloudy, foul smelling, bloody, or you experience constant bleeding, contact your doctor immediately.