Vesicostomy Care

A vesicostomy is an opening created by the doctor between the abdominal wall and the bladder that helps prevent damage to the kidneys. This procedure is done in the operating room. The opening looks like a small slit surrounded by pink tissue. Urine drains constantly from this opening, and the child will need to wear a diaper, pull-ups or an incontinence pad, such as Poise pads. A vesicostomy is a temporary treatment. 

This procedure is a necessary step for some children to help prevent urinary tract infections or kidney damage. Although most children who need a vesicostomy are young (under 5 years old), this procedure sometimes also helps older children or teenagers temporarily.

The opening of the vesicostomy will slowly close if it is not stretched at regular intervals. It is necessary to stretch (also called dilating) the opening with a catheter one to two times a day. It is best to do this at the same time each day, if possible. It can be normal for a slight amount of bleeding to occur from the stoma during stretching.  Urine should drain constantly from the opening.

Once in a while, the skin may become red, irritated and sore. If this happens, your doctor may give you a special medicine or ointment to treat the skin. 

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Clean the area around the vesicostomy with Betadine or BZK in a circular motion, moving from the opening out.  Clean with three different swabs or wipes.
  3. Apply water-soluble lubricant to the tip of the catheter.
  4. Insert the catheter ½ to 1 inch into the opening of the vesicostomy.
  5. Turn the catheter back and forth
  6. Remove the catheter and clean the opening to remove the Betadine or BZK from the skin.
  • Urine does not drain from the opening for two hours
  • The skin around the opening looks red, crusty, irritated or infected
  • You are unable to pass the catheter into the opening
  • Tissue protrudes from the vesicostomy opening
  • The child complains of pain
  • There is blood in the urine (more than the usual amount that occurs with stretching of the vesicostomy)
  • A fever greater than 101.5°F (38.6°C) develops

Last Updated 10/2012