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Bladder Augmentation


Bladder Augmentation


This surgery is used for men and women suffering from overactive bladder (OAB) or the symptoms of frequency and urgency, resulting in incontinence when all conservative treatments have failed.

A short length of (small) bowel is used to increase the size of the bladder and lower the pressure produced on bladder contraction. This operation is also performed to protect the upper urinary tract (kidneys) from damage due to high bladder pressures causing a reflux of urine back into the kidneys

This operation may also be known as:

  • Augmentation cystoplasty
  • Bladder augmentation
  • Clam cystoplasty
  • Ileocystoplasty
  • Bramble cystoplasty
  • Enterocystoplasty

Bladder augmentation is a major reconstructive operation which will normally require up to a 10 day stay in hospital and complete recovery can take 3 months

The operation involves cutting the bladder from side to side and opening the bladder like a Clamshell. A section of bowel is then removed and prepared before being used as a patch, which is sewn into the split sides of the bladder thereby increasing its size.

By increasing the physical size and dividing the bladder into two the pressure generated when the bladder contracts will be reduced, which in turn will reduce frequency and urgency (restore bladder stability) and prevent urinary incontinence.

Although some patients will regain normal voiding function this is not normally the case and the likelihood is that lifelong intermittent catheterisation will be required to fully empty the bladder

Advantages of Bladder Augmentation

Continence restored or greatly improved

Urgency reduced

Protection of upper urinary tract


Disadvantages of Bladder Augmentation


As with most types of surgery there is a trade off between improved quality of life and long term side effects. Although bladder augmentation is the most definitive way of controlling incontinence due to urgency it comes at a price

Lifelong Intermittent self-catheterisation will normally be required

Increase risk of Urinary Tract Infections with catheterisation

Regular washouts of bowel mucus from the augmented bladder may be required

Increased chance of developing bladder stones


Risks and complications of Bladder Augmentation Surgery

Although very rare as with any surgical procedure there are risks and possible complications. In this type of procedure complications include



Small bowel leakage

Small bowel obstruction due to adhesions

Bowel/nutritional problems may occur due to removal of some of the bowel

Getting help

If you wish to make an appointment to seek further advice and or treatment, please contact Mr Ockrim’s secretary.



The information contained within this website has been provided as a general guide and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own GP or any other health professional.