FAQs About a Cystotomy for Pets

If your pet is suffering from recurring bladder problems our veterinarian at Akaal Pet Hospital in Citrus Heights can perform a cystotomy to offer lasting relief. Below are a few common questions that we encounter when this topic is brought up.


Why Perform a Cystotomy?

A Cystotomy is a surgical procedure that allows your veterinarian to examine the inside of your pet’s bladder. Occasionally, the procedure is done to obtain a biopsy of an animal's bladder. It is also used to repair severe trauma, such as a rupture of the bladder.

Does a Cystotomy Require Anesthesia?

Yes. Which preoperative tests are needed depends on the general health and age of your pet and the reason a cystotomy is called needed. Abdominal ultrasound and x-rays are used to diagnose the core cause of the urinary problems before surgery. The surgical procedure involves opening your pet’s abdominal cavity so general anesthesia is used to induce unconsciousness, relax muscles, and completely control pain.

How is a Cystotomy Performed?

After administering anesthesia, the veterinarian places the pet on its back on the surgical table. The hair of the lower abdomen is clipped, the skin is scraped and washed with disinfecting soap before the veterinarian continues with the procedure. After isolating the bladder, urine is removed to ensure there is no abdominal contamination. Should there be any stones, blood clots, or a tumor, they are removed or repaired.

A urinary catheter is often put in place at the end of the surgery, so urine can drain freely from the bladder. Inner sutures will dissolve over time, and surgical sutures or staples are removed by the veterinarian in a follow-up visit.

Are there any Risks?

Very few. The procedure itself generally takes less than an hour and the overall risk of performing the procedure is very low. As with any human surgery, any minimal risk outweighs the debilitating effects of the illness.

What Comes Next?

The typical time your pet will need to stay in the hospital is two or three days. During that time, post-operative medication is given to relieve pain, which is mild to moderate in most cases. Once your pet returns home, reduced activity is required for 10-14 days until you return to the animal hospital with your pet to have the stitches removed. During those first days at home, we advise you to monitor the suture line daily for any signs of discharge or redness due to swelling. Pet owners should also track their pet's urinary habits and watch for any signs of obvious pain.

Visit Your Local Citrus Heights Veterinarian

If your pet is showing any signs of urinary discomfort or abnormal urinary blood, call Akaal Pet Hospital at (916) 729-7779. We will gladly answer any questions you may have or we can set an appointment if you’d like to bring your furry friend in for a check-up.

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