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What is a Mitrofanoff?

A Mitrofanoff is a small tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body. A catheter is placed to empty urine from the bladder through the channel, and a one-way flap valve is used to maintain urine control.

Why is the Mitrofanoff procedure done?

This procedure is done for patients who are incontinent of urine and experience wetting. The surgeon uses a small piece of bowel tissue to make a new passage for urine to come out. One end of the passage is attached to the bladder and the other end to the opening of the belly button. This opening is called a stoma through which a catheter is inserted into the bladder to drain urine.

This procedure is mainly done for patients who have spina bifida or spinal cord injuries, conditions that prevent good bladder and bowel control.

How is the surgery done?

During the surgery, the appendix is cut from the intestine but not from its blood supply. The doctor sews one end of the appendix to the backside of the bladder, and the other end of the appendix is then pulled up and attached to the belly. A small hole is made on both the ends of the new tube. So that, the child can put in a catheter through the opening on the belly or belly button to empty the bladder.

There are two possible ways to perform this surgery:

  • Open surgery
  • Robotic surgery

The Mitrofanoff procedure is considered to be major surgery. Recovery from this procedure usually takes six weeks.

Who may have the Mitrofanoff procedure?

This procedure is not for everyone. The effects of spinal cord injury and neurogenic bladder may prevent you from getting the Mitrofanoff procedure. Because you should be able to do intermittent catheterization yourself or direct others or do it every four hours. If this fails, then it is not a good option for you.

What are the potential complications?

Risks involved in this procedure include those of any surgery such as infection, redness, swelling, bleeding, reactions to anesthesia, or failure of the operation.

  • Since the appendix is partially detached or moved, there could be low-risk internal bleeding.
  • After surgery, there could be a problem catheterizing, it can be solved by using a different size catheter or more lubricant.
  • Sometimes, the catheters put in place also develop infections, but the patient will be given antibiotics to avoid infections.
  • The new hole in the belly may also leak,
  • If the child gains a lot of weight as they grow up, they may have problems catheterizing the opening.

Mitrofanoff procedure has a high success rate, however, many children may need another operation to adjust the appendix tube or fix problems, such as scarring that blocks the new opening to the belly. In most cases, these surgeries are minor.


Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Address: Rao Saheb, Achutrao Patwardhan Marg, Four Bungalows, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400053

Phone: +91-98 88 66 22 00

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