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Vesicostomy: Before Your Child's Surgery

What is a vesicostomy?

A vesicostomy is surgery to make an opening for urine to travel from the bladder out of the body. This opening is called a stoma. It's made through the skin on the belly. It looks like a small, narrow slit in the skin below the belly button.

This kind of surgery is done when a child has a problem draining urine from the bladder in the usual way. The doctor makes a stoma so urine can leave the body. This new way of passing urine is usually temporary. Your doctor will talk to you about how long your child will need it.

Your child will be asleep during the surgery. The doctor makes a cut in your child's lower belly and in the bladder. The cuts are called incisions. The doctor then attaches a small part of the bladder wall to an opening in the skin of the lower belly. After that, urine can leave the body through the stoma.

Most children go home 1 or 2 days after surgery. Your child will probably be able to go back to school or daycare in about 1 week.

After surgery, urine should flow freely from the stoma. This will not hurt or be uncomfortable for your child. Your child will need to wear a diaper that covers the stoma. Your doctor or nurse will teach you how to care for your child's stoma.

How do you prepare for surgery?

Surgery can be stressful for both your child and you. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your child's surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • Talk to your child about the surgery. Tell your child it will help urine leave your child's body. Hospitals know how to take care of children. The staff will do all they can to make it easier for your child.
  • Ask if a special tour of the surgery area and hospital is available. This may make your child feel less nervous about what happens.
  • Plan for your child's recovery time. Your child may need more of your time right after the surgery, both for care and for comfort.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • Tell the doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products your child takes. Some may increase the risk of problems during the surgery. Your doctor will tell you if your child should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.

The day before surgery

  • A nurse may call you (or you may need to call the hospital). This is to confirm the time and date of your child's surgery and answer any questions.
  • Remember to follow your doctor's instructions about your child taking or stopping medicines before surgery. This includes over-the-counter medicines.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when your child should stop eating and drinking. If you don't, the surgery may be cancelled. If the doctor told you to have your child take his or her medicines on the day of surgery, have your child take them with only a sip of water.
  • Have your child take a bath or shower before you come in. Do not apply lotion or deodorant.
  • Your child may brush his or her teeth. But tell your child not to swallow any toothpaste or water.
  • Do not let your child wear contact lenses. Bring your child's glasses or contact lens case.
  • Be sure your child has something that reminds him or her of home. A special stuffed animal, toy, or blanket may be comforting. For an older child, it might be a book or music.

At the hospital or surgery centre

  • A parent or legal guardian must accompany your child.
  • Your child will be kept comfortable and safe by an anesthesia provider. Your child will be asleep during the surgery.
  • The surgery will take about 1 hour.
  • After surgery, your child will be taken to the recovery room. As your child wakes up, the recovery room staff will monitor his or her condition. The doctor will talk to you about the surgery.
  • You will probably be able to take your child home in 1 to 2 days.
  • Your child will have a bandage over the stoma.
  • Your child may have a tube that drains urine from his or her bladder. This is called a urinary catheter. The tube may be in your child's stoma. Or it may be in the urethra. The urethra is the tube that normally carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. The catheter will be removed before your child leaves the hospital.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare your child for the surgery.
  • Your child becomes ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about your child having the surgery.

Where can you learn more?

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