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

Suprapubic Cystostomy

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Suprapubic Cystostomy

(Cystostomy, Suprapubic)


Suprapubic cystostomy drains uses a tube called a catheter to drain urine from the bladder to the outside of the belly.

Female Bladder and Urethra.

Nucleus factsheet imagehttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=49314931si55550380.jpgsi55550380.jpgNULLjpgBladder and uretha femaleNULL\\filer01a\Intellect\images\si55550380.jpgNULL15NULL2003-04-162543904931_620496Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Procedure

This procedure is done when urine cannot drain on its own due to problems, such as:

  • Narrowing of the tube (urethra) that goes from the bladder to the outside of the body
  • Blockages from:
    • Stones
    • Inflammation
    • Infection
    • Injury
    • Prostate disease (in men)

It may be done when it is not possible to pass a catheter through the urethra or when one needs to be in place for a long period of time. It may also be done to avoid damage to the urethra or during surgery on the urethra or nearby structures.

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, such as wheezing or sore throat
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to the bowel or other nearby structures
  • The need for repeat procedures

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 and chills
  • Redness, swelling, excess bleeding, or discharge from the catheter site
  • Pain that you cannot control with medicine
  • Problems passing urine through the catheter
  • A catheter that falls out
  • Changes in the frequency, odor, appearance, or volume of urine
  • Bloody urine
  • New or worsening symptoms

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





  • Placement and management of urinary bladder catheters in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/placement-and-management-of-urinary-bladder-catheters-in-adults.
  • Suprapubic catheter. Bladder and Bowel Community website. Available at: https://www.bladderandbowel.org/surgical-treatment/suprapubic-catheter.
  • Urinary catheter. NHS website. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/urinary-catheters.


  • 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.