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Cystectomy with Ileal Conduit


  • A cystectomy is surgery to remove your bladder. Your bladder is the organ that holds the urine in your body before you urinate. Normally, your urine passes from your kidneys into your bladder through tubes called ureters. Your urine then moves out of your bladder through a tube called your urethra. After your bladder is removed, your ureters are connected to a piece of your bowel. This creates a passageway called an ileal conduit. The ileal conduit will drain your urine from your ureters to a hole in your abdomen. This hole is called a stoma and is attached to a bag that collects your urine.
  • You may need a cystectomy if you have bladder cancer or very bad damage to your bladder. During your cystectomy, your caregiver may remove other organs near your bladder. Your caregiver may need to remove your lymph nodes. Your lymph nodes are lumps of tissue that fight infection caused by germs called bacteria. After surgery, your urine will only leave your body through the stoma. A cystectomy may decrease your pain and make it easier for urine to leave your body. If you have cancer, a cystectomy may help your caregiver plan your treatment. A cystectomy may also help stop your cancer from spreading to other parts of your body.
Urinary System


Take your medicine as directed.

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
  • Stool softeners: This medicine makes it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to treat or prevent constipation.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Stoma Care:

Your caregiver may teach you to put mineral oil around your stoma. This may help keep your skin from being rough and dry. Your caregiver may also have you put a bandage over your stoma. Ask your caregiver for more information on how to care for your stoma.

Do not smoke:

If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information about how to stop smoking if you need help.


  • You have a fever.
  • The skin around your stoma becomes red, irritated, or swollen.
  • You have an upset stomach or throw up.
  • Your wounds are swollen, red, or leak pus (white or yellow liquid).
  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery, medicine, or care.
  • Urine does not come out of your stoma.
  • Your stitches come apart.


  • Part of your bowel sticks out through your stoma.
  • You have very bad pain in your abdomen or sides.
  • You have bleeding that does not stop.
  • Your leg becomes swollen, red, or painful.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
  • You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You have signs of a stroke: The following signs are an emergency. Call 911 immediately if you have any of the following:
    • Weakness or numbness in your arm, leg, or face (may be on only one side of your body)
    • Confusion and problems speaking or understanding speech
    • A very bad headache that may feel like the worst headache of your life
    • Not being able to see out of one or both of your eyes
    • Feeling too dizzy to stand

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Cystectomy with Ileal Conduit (Aftercare Instructions)

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