Skip to main content

Differences Between a Urostomy and a Mitrofanoff Procedure

When the bladder is diseased or is no longer working as it should, surgical interventions like a urostomy or a Mitrofanoff procedure may be required. But how do you know which surgery is right for you, your medical condition, and your lifestyle?

When is a Urostomy or Mitrofanoff Procedure Necessary?

If someone requires a urostomy or a Mitrofanoff procedure, the cause is typically rather serious. These surgeries may include having a part of the bladder or the entire bladder removed.

Here are some of the common reasons for needing a Mitrofanoff procedure or urostomy:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Spina bifida
  • Bladder exstrophy
  • Neurogenic bladder
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Chronic bladder inflammation

Of course, there are many other reasons that may require the need for a surgery. For instance, those living with severe urinary incontinence may seek surgery as a treatment option when the symptoms have negatively impacted their life and health. Sometimes medication, pelvic floor exercises, and lifestyle changes are no longer viable treatments for severe symptoms.

Having a urostomy or a Mitrofanoff procedure may significantly improve health and quality of life for people living with one or more of these conditions.

But what exactly are these two surgical procedures, and how do they help?

What is a Urostomy?

surgeryAfter the bladder has been surgically removed from the body, or when it no longer works as it should normally, the body still needs to eliminate urine.

Surgeons can create an alternate opening through the abdominal wall by using a piece of the intestine to allow urine to exit safely out of the body.

After the surgery, those with a new urostomy have a pinkish moist opening called a stoma on their abdomen. As it heals, the size of the stoma will shrink or change. Since everyone’s anatomy is different, the healing process and where the stoma is placed is different too.

After urostomy surgery, there is no way to control when to start or stop urination. You will instead have an ostomy pouch system that adheres to the skin surrounded the stoma and collects your urine.

However, urostomy pouches today are very discreet and often feature odor control options as well.

While living with a urostomy can be an adjustment, new ostomates have access to plenty of ostomy products and accessories that can make it much easier and convenient.

What Is a Mitrofanoff Procedure?

doctor consultationA Mitrofanoff is actually somewhat similar to a urostomy, except there’s no need to use ostomy pouches. The Mitrofanoff procedure, also known as the Mitrofanoff appendicovesicostomy, was named after its inventor, Paul Mitrofanoff.

With a Mitrofanoff, surgeons create a smaller stoma that connects via a surgically-created passage to the bladder or an alternate reservoir pouch. During the surgery, they use part of the intestine or the appendix to make the reservoir that replaces the bladder.

Instead of using urostomy bags to collect urine, a person with a Mitrofanoff can use intermittent catheters to insert into the stoma and drain the reservoir regularly.

Which Procedure is Right for You?

The decision between a urostomy and a Mitrofanoff depends on factors like your medical condition, preferences, and more. Together, you and your doctor can determine which surgical procedure is right for you and your individual condition.

The goal, above all, is to improve your health and quality of life.

If you are about to undergo a urostomy or a Mitrofanoff surgery, 180 Medical is here for you. We’re dedicated to providing our customers with the best urostomy products, urinary catheters, and more.

Whether you’re in need of urostomy pouches or intermittent catheters, we’ll gladly help you find the products that can help turn your life around.

180 friendly specialists

Call Toll-Free (877) 688-2729

About the Author
Differences Between a Urostomy and a Mitrofanoff Procedure
Jessica is the Sr. Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical, and she has been with the company for 15 years. She loves getting to be creative in her role and hearing from customers about the positive impact we've made on their lives.

Outside of work, you can find her hanging out with her husband and their dogs or browsing garden centers (where she will almost certainly buy another houseplant she doesn't really need).