I had a bladder augmentation in March 2006. My doctor had wanted to do it a year before that, but I kept holding off hoping I would get return there. Now I wish I had done it before!!! I was having to cath about every 30 min to an hour before and now I can go up to 6 hours without cathing!!!

I'm not going to lie - the surgery was rough. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks. I kept vomiting every time they let me eat solids, so I would have to go back to just fluids. The surgery did really sap my strength, too. By the end of the second week I was still using my wheelchair instead of walking with a cane like I normally do. The third week in the hospital was PT. I'm still not as strong now as I was before the surgery, but I didn't do any outpatient PT after the surgery. I would definitely recommend doing PT afterwards!!!!

I had someone stay with me for the first 2 weeks after I got home. I was very sore and still had 2 drains in. The drains were a pain in the butt andI ended up stepping on one and puulin it out, but luckily it was the night before my appt to have them taken out. I was off work for a total of 3 months.

I had to irriagate my bladder every day for the first few months to get the mucuous out, but now it just comes out through the catheter. I never irriagate it and I don't notice that my urine is normally cloudy. About once every 2 weeks or so I get a lot of mucous through the catheter. It does kind of stop up the bladder, so I know if my bladder feels full and I only get a little urine out I need to keep the catheter in for a minute until the mucous comes out. Then the urine will start coming out again. It's really not an inconvenience - especially not compared to wearing diapers or rushing to the bathroom every half hour or so!!

The surgery is definitely worth it and the only things I would change would be doing it SOONER than I did and having physical therapy after the surgery. It has GREATLY improved my quality of life and my self esteem.

Good luck with your surgery. I hope everything works out as well for you as it has for me!