Bladder Augmentation

Also known as: enterocytoplasty.

What is bladder augmentation?

In some children, for a number of reasons, a child’s urinary bladder is too small and/or doesn’t stretch enough to be able to hold a normal amount of urine. This results in urine flowing back up into the kidneys or dribbling out (incontinence). Bladder augmentation is a surgical procedure used to enlarge the bladder and to improve its ability to stretch.

What happens during the procedure?

The patient is sedated with general anesthesia. Then either through a traditional large incision in the abdomen or with a minimally invasive technique a portion of intestine (or the stomach) is removed and attached to an opening in the bladder to create a larger badder space for urine storage. The remaining portions of the intestine are stitched back together.

Is any special preparation needed?

Your child will be instructed to avoid certain foods, liquids and medications prior to the procedure. A medication will be given which will cause your child to have many bowel movements (to clear the bowel) plus antibiotics and intravenous fluids (to prevent dehydration).

What are the risk factors?

Complications are similar to other surgeries (like risks of anesthesia, bleeding, infection). The most common side effect of bladder augmentation is the inability to urinate without a catheter (parents/patients may need to learn to use the catheter occasionally to release their stored urine). Some children may continue to leak urine after surgery and may need an additional operation. Long term complications include bladder stone formation, osteoporosis and an increased risk of cancer.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: March 26, 2019 12:30 PM