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Potential Complications

You cannot insert the catheter into the Mitrofanoff?

  • Try to insert the smaller size catheter:  if you can do this, leave this catheter in place and plug the end using a spigot

  • Contact the ward or Nurse Specialist for advice

  • If a smaller catheter can't be inserted call the ward or Nurse Specialist for advice. If you cannot get hold of them and you are no longer able to urinate naturally (eg if your bladder neck has been closed as part of the surgery) you should go to A&E

  • This may be a sign of Stenosis which is when narrowing of the channel occurs. 

  • If this happens the first step would be to leave a catheter in situ for one week. 

  • If narrowing continues you may require further surgery.


If you are wet in between catheterisations

  • This may be a sign of infection, poor bladder emptying or a change in bladder behaviour

  • Have your urine tested by you GP

  • Let your Nurse Specialist or Consultant know


Your urine becomes infected.  

Infections can develop when there is low fluid input to flush the kidneys and bladder. This is why drinking plenty of water is vital.   Urinary tract infections can also occur when the bladder is not fully drained and incomplete emptying of all the bugs the bladder produces. Poor personal hand and catheter hygiene can also result in infections.

  • Signs of infection include dark, smelly or cloudy urine

  • Have your urine tested by your GP, you may need a course of antibiotics

  • You notice blood in your urine or catheter

  • A small amount of blood, in the catheter is common especially when you start using the Mitrofanoff

  • If the amount increases or continues for a long time, please call the ward or your Nurse Specialist


Your Mitrofanoff is red, inflamed or bleeding

  • Passing the catheter into the Mitrofanoff can sometimes cause this, but it usually stops when the catheter is removed

  • If this continues, please contact your GP or community nurse

  • If there is concern contact your Nurse specialist


Your Mitrofanoff is sore and oozing

  • Infections sometimes occur, usually fairly soon after the operation, contact the ward as you may need a course of antibiotics

  • In the long term, any weeping from the Mitrofanoff is likely to be mucous, this is quite usual

  • You can cover the Mitrofanoff with a small dressing or plaster if the oozing is affecting your clothes


Urine seems to be leaking from the Mitrofanoff

  • Contact the ward as the Mitrofanoff may need checking

  • This may require a moderately invasive test to assess the cause e.g. a non-functioning valve, a small bladder or high-pressure bladder. ​



  • a build-up of mucus within the bladder which can create stones. ​

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