When will my Urostomy start to work?

You will notice that your urostomy will work as soon as it is formed and also that you have no control or sensation over when you pass urine.

Initially, your urine may have a slight red colour to it – this is nothing to worry about and it will quickly return to normal. You may also notice some mucus in your urine or around your stoma.

All of this is normal and is to be expected.

  • Your urostomy will produce a small amount of urine every few seconds, but this can vary.
  • It is important to empty your bag regularly, to ensure that it does not get too full.
  • If a urostomy bag is full, it can be more difficult to empty and may also be more noticeable under clothes.
  • Most people will change their urostomy bag every 1-2 days, but it is up to you.

What type of stoma bag will I be wearing?

You will be wearing a urostomy bag, which will most likely be transparent or have a viewing window, so that your nurses can check on the colour and size of your stoma easily. A night drainage bag will be attached to collect your urine at first.

After urostomy surgery, you will have some thin tubes called stents coming out from your urostomy.

The purpose of the stents is to protect the newly formed join where the ureters meet the piece of small bowel. The stents may fall out by themselves, but if they don’t your Stoma Care Nurse will gently remove them, once the initial post-operative swelling has started to reduce.

Looking after your urostomy can be a bit fiddly until this time, but management will feel easier once they are removed.

After your operation, you may experience some constipation. It is normal for there to be some disruption to your bowel movements following this procedure as a result of using part of your small bowel to create your urostomy, and also because your usual pattern of eating and drinking has been disrupted.

Once your bowels start to work again, you may experience diarrhoea for a short while, but this will pass and gradually things should settle.

What is a urostomy bag?

A urostomy bag is a bag which collects urine after urostomy surgery. After your urostomy surgery, your urine will pass through your stoma into a bag called a urostomy bag.

When you wake up after your operation, it is normal for you to be cared for in the high dependency/intensive care unit for a short period of time.

You may have drips and drain tubes attached to your body, but there is no reason to be alarmed – this is quite normal. These will all be removed when appropriate, with very little discomfort.

How to change your stoma bag

Find out more

How to wear your stoma bag correctly

Find out more

How to take care of your skin after stoma surgery

Find out more


Helpful videos to prepare you for your urostomy operation

We have created a series of ‘how to’ video guides for people living with a urostomy. These videos are available to view and download.

View videos


Living with a stoma

Let us help you deal with all aspects of living with a stoma, from those first few weeks after surgery to everyday lifestyle advice, including travel tips, exercise, diet and relationships and much more.

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