Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Bladder Augmentation—Laparoscopic Surgery

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Bladder Augmentation—Laparoscopic Surgery

(Augmentation Cystoplasty—Laparoscopic Surgery)


Bladder augmentation makes the bladder large enough to collect urine. Laparoscopic surgery is when it is done using small incisions and specialized tools.

The Urinary Tract.

http://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=25812581si55550954.jpgThe Urinary TractNULLjpgThe Urinary TractNULL\\filer01\Intellect\images\si55550954.jpgCopyright © 2002 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.17NULL2002-10-01255391Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Procedure

This surgery is done to treat problems such as:

  • A bladder that is too small—due to a blockage, birth defect, or other problem
  • Overactive bladder—muscle problems that cause urine to leak
  • Neurogenic bladder—nerve problems in the bladder that cause urine to leak or not exit the body

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Bladder rupture
  • Not being able to hold urine
  • Kidney stones

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking excess alcohol
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity

What to Expect

Problems to Look Out For

Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever or chills
  • Redness, swelling, excess bleeding, or discharge from the wounds
  • Pain that you cannot control with medicine
  • Problems urinating or urine that is cloudy or smells bad
  • New or worsening symptoms

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

Prior to Procedure

The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:

  • Anesthesia options
  • Any allergies you may have
  • Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
  • Fasting before surgery, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
  • Planning for a ride to and from surgery
  • Cleaning the colon before surgery


General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep.

Description of the Procedure

Small cuts are made in the belly. Small tools and a tiny camera are passed through the cuts. The surgeon will be able to view inside the belly. A piece of intestine or stomach will be removed and the area will be sewn shut. A cut will be made on the top of the bladder and the piece of intestine or stomach will be attached to the bladder to make it larger. The tools will be removed. The cuts will be closed with stitches and covered with bandages.

Sometimes, a small opening is made in the belly wall and a tube is guided to the bladder to allow urine to drain.

The doctor may need to change to an open procedure. If this happens, a longer cut will be made.

How Long Will It Take?

About 4 hours

Will It Hurt?

Pain and swelling are common in the first few weeks. Medicine and home care help

Average Hospital Stay

The usual hospital stay is 3 to 5 days. If you have any problems, you will need to stay longer.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital

Right after the procedure, the staff may:

  • Give pain medicine
  • Give you fluids and nutrients through an IV until your intestines are working again
  • Teach you how to use the catheter to drain urine from the bladder

During your stay, staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection, such as:

  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing gloves or masks
  • Keeping your wounds covered

You can also lower your risk of infection by:

  • Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and staff to do the same
  • Reminding staff to wear gloves or masks
  • Not letting others touch your wounds

At Home

It will take a month or more to recover. You may see some blood in the urine during this time. Physical activity will also be limited. You will need to delay your return to work.





  • Bladder augmentation. Boston Children’s Hospital website. Available at: https://www.childrenshospital.org/treatments/bladder-augmentation.
  • Bladder augmentation (enlargement). Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/bladder-augmentation-(enlargement).
  • Bladder augmentation surgery FAQ. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital website. Available at: https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/bladder-augmentation-surgery-faq.
  • Neurogenic bladder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/neurogenic-bladder.
  • Nimeh T, Elliott S. Minimally invasive techniques for bladder reconstruction. Curr Urol Rep. 2018 Apr 13;19(6):39.


  • Mark S. Itzkowitz, MD, JD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.