Munson Health
Suprapubic Cystostomy

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by Neff DM

(Cystostomy, Suprapubic)


What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

Your doctor may do the following:
  • Physical exam
  • Imaging, blood, and urine tests
  • Talk about the anesthesia being used and the potential risks
You should also talk to your doctor about your medicines. If this is not an emergency situation, you may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure. These medicines may include:
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Blood thinners
  • Anti-platelets
Your doctor may ask you to take certain medicines before surgery.
In the days before the surgery:
  • Arrange for a ride home from the hospital.
  • You may need to avoid eating for eight hours before the surgery.
  • If instructed by your doctor, drink only clear liquids (such as water, clear juices, tea). You may be asked to drink extra fluids to fill the bladder.
Note: These steps may not be possible in an emergency situation.


Local anesthesia may be used with or without sedation. You will not have any pain during the procedure.

Description of the Procedure

After anesthesia has numbed the area, the doctor will locate the bladder using imaging tools such as ultrasound if needed. Next, a needle will be inserted through your lower abdomen and into your bladder. A wire will then be guided through the needle into the bladder to prepare the site for a catheter. A special catheter will be placed into the bladder over the wire. The catheter will be sutured in place. A balloon may be inflated to keep the catheter in place. Afterward, the opening made in the skin (called a stoma) will be covered with gauze.

How Long Will It Take?

10-45 minutes

How Much Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. You will be given pain medicine to ease pain and soreness after the surgery.

Average Hospital Stay

You will either stay in the hospital overnight or go home the same day.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital
The hospital staff will:
  • Monitor your recovery
  • Help you to eat and move around again
  • Give you pain medicine
  • Teach you how to care for your catheter
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing gloves or masks
  • Keeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as:
  • Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
  • Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
  • Not allowing others to touch your incisions
At Home
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
  • Take medicines as directed.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects for two weeks.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (8-10 glasses per day).
  • Do not drive or have sex until your doctor tells you that it is safe to do so.
  • Follow the guidelines for changing the catheter and collection bag.
  • Keep the stoma site clean and dry:
    • Cleaning the incision site as directed.
    • Using a soft washcloth to gently wipe the incision area.
    • Changing dressings daily, or more as directed.
    • Asking your doctor when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
  • Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Urology Care Foundation



Canadian Urological Association

Health Canada



Aguilera PA, Choi T, et al. Ultrasound-guided suprapubic cystostomy catheter placement in the emergency department. J Emerg Med. 2004;26(3):319-321.

Care of a suprapubic cystostomy. Danbury Hospital Patient Education website. Available at: Accessed October 19, 2012.


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