Understanding Your Stoma: Urostomy

A urostomy procedure is a type of stoma surgery. Learn the facts about urostomy surgery, including the medical reasons why it may be needed. 


Learn about urostomy surgery.

Thousands of people undergo stoma surgery each year. Stoma surgery can be needed due to disease, an accident, or a congenital disability, and can sometimes be a life-saving procedure. There are different types of stoma surgeries. Let’s learn the key facts about urostomy surgery. 

What is a stoma? 

Ever wonder where the word “stoma” comes from? Well, its origin is from the Greek language, and it means "an opening into or out of the body".

You may have first heard the term from your doctor. In medicine, the stoma is an abdominal opening that is surgically created. Its purpose is to pass faecal matter – or urine, in the case of a urostomy procedure – through the abdominal wall. 

What is a urostomy?

A urostomy is a surgically-created diversion of urine. For example, a urostomy may be created when the bladder is removed and the patient needs a new way to pass urine.

During urostomy surgery, the surgeon uses a piece of the small bowel to form a new tube through which urine can pass. The ureters (tubes that normally would carry urine from the kidney to the bladder) are attached to one end of the tube. The other end is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. 

After the surgery, a urostomy pouch collects urine from the urostomy on an ongoing basis.

There are other types of stoma surgeries too. Two other common procedures are colostomy and ileostomy surgery.

Reasons for having a urostomy

Several diseases and conditions can result in urostomy surgery, including:

  • Bladder cancer 
  • A congenital condition or congenital disability 
  • Severe debilitating cases of urinary incontinence or repeat urinary tract infection
  • Interstitial cystitis  
  • An accident or another type of trauma

Need more stoma guidance?

Your healthcare team is there to help. Your doctor and stoma care nurse have likely discussed details of your surgery already. You will probably have questions along the way, so it is a good idea to write them down in a notebook or stoma diary. That way you will not forget to ask them when attending appointments with your doctor, stoma care nurse, or other healthcare professional.