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Mitrofanoff Procedure  

The Mitrofanoff procedure is a type of surgery designed to give patients with bladder problems an alternative option for draining urine.  

One surgical option for individuals with bladder problems is the Mitrofanoff procedure. Often used to help children born with spina bifida, bladder exstrophy or a bladder blockage, this surgical procedure uses a portion of the patient’s appendix to create a new conduit for urine to leave the body, bypassing the urethra.  

What Are the Benefits of the Mitrofanoff Procedure?  

The main benefit of the Mitrofanoff procedure is that the patient won’t have to spend the rest of their life with a catheter and an external bag for collecting urine attached to their body. This is because of the unique valve arrangement used in the Mitrofanoff procedure, which helps prevent urine leakage.  

Mitrofanoff Procedure Details 

A Mitrofanoff is a small channel that connects the bladder to a stoma—a small hole in the abdomen. The patient inserts a catheter into the channel to empty urine as needed. To create the Mitrofanoff channel, the surgeon uses a portion of the patient’s appendix or small bowel (if the patient doesn’t have an appendix). The Mitrofanoff is connected to the bladder and features a valve that automatically closes when the bladder is full, preventing urine leakage.  

This procedure can be performed with traditional open surgical techniques or robotic assistance.  

What to Expect  

This procedure can take three to six hours to complete and the patient will have at least two catheters in place following the procedure. Though they are temporary, the catheters will likely need to be left in place for a few weeks during healing. Once the catheters are removed, the patient will still need to use a catheter to drain the bladder every four hours. Additionally, he or she will need to irrigate the bladder once a day to clear out mucus made by the Mitrofanoff.  

How Effective Is the Mitrofanoff Procedure? 

The Mitrofanoff procedure eliminates the need for 24-hour catheterization and the use of an external urine collection bag, restoring a sense of normalcy for patients with bladder problems.  

Tampa General Hospital offers surgical treatment for a variety of urological conditions. We are the first hospital in Florida to offer the most advanced robotic technology, which involves cutting just one small incision to allow for a faster and less painful recovery following a urologic procedure.