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Urostomy: A Guide

Urostomy surgery is needed when the bladder is not working the way it should. There are 4 major bladder problems that may be treated with a urostomy: bladder cancer, damage to the nerves that control the bladder (called neurogenic bladder disease), birth defects, and chronic inflammation of the bladder.

For the thousands of people who have serious bladder diseases, a urostomy can be the start of a new and healthier life. If you have had a chronic (long-term) problem or a life-threatening disease like bladder cancer, you can look forward to feeling better after you recover from this surgery. You can also look forward to returning to most, if not all of the activities you enjoyed in the past.

This guide will help you better understand urostomy – what it is, why it's needed, how it affects the normal urinary system, and the changes it can bring to a person's life. Many of the terms you will hear from your health care team use are used and defined here.

Last Medical Review: 03/17/2011
Last Revised: 03/17/2011