Cystotomy as a Way to Surgically Treat Bladder Diseases

Cystotomy, also called Vesicotomy, is a procedure to surgically remove a stone from the bladder. Stone in the bladder may build up when urine in the bladder gets stored up, which later gets concentrated and crystallizes.

This surgical process can be done through a single procedure or may also be done to serve as the groundwork for more complicated surgeries of the bladder. A cystotomy is considered a minor surgical operation.

The Procedure
In a cystotomy, a hole is created in the urinary bladder’s wall. The purpose of creating the hole is to obtain access to the inside of the bladder. The procedure starts with making a cut in the abdomen to expose the bladder. A hole is then created in the bladder. Once the purpose of the surgery has been accomplished, closing up or suturing the bladder is done.

When is a Cystotomy Performed?
The most common reason a cystotomy is performed is the presence of stones in the bladder. Bladder stones form when mineral crystals from concentrated urine accumulate in the bladder. Conditions which can lead to the formation of bladder stones include nerve damage, inflammation or enlargement of the prostate and recurring urinary tract infections. These stones, if not removed, can be a cause of blockage and often causes severe pain to the patient.

A cystotomy might also be performed to serve as a preliminary procedure for removing cancers of the bladder. In this case, a cystotomy is first done in order to expose the cancer or the entire bladder. The purpose of doing the procedure is to make sure that all of the cancer has been removed. Vesicostomy (suprapubic cystotomy) is a related procedure to cystotomy wherein a semi-permanent link between the bladder and skin is created for the purpose of directly draining urine from the bladder. With this, urine will not be passing through the urethra anymore.

Recovery Period
Because it is a minor procedure, there is a relatively short recovery time for a patient who undergoes a cystotomy. However, if cystotomy has been performed as a preliminary surgery to a more complicated one, then the patient will be hospitalized longer and more time will be needed for a full recovery. As a stand-alone procedure, the risk for complication is also relatively low. However, risks increase if other surgical procedures are performed at the same time.

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