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Kenmore Animal Hospital


A cystotomy is a surgical opening of the bladder.


A cystotomy is a surgical procedure for dogs and cats that requires the opening of the bladder. There are multiple reasons a veterinarian may perform a cystotomy, but the most common are to treat an identified problem such as a tumor, removal of bladder stones, or urethral obstructions, or to collect a biopsy or conduct an exploratory. In some cases a cystotomy is used to diagnose a problem that previous diagnostic tests happened to miss.

What can I expect?

A general health assessment, usually including blood work and radiographs, will be conducted on your pet prior to the surgery before they are placed under an anesthesia. After the surgical removal of obstructions and/or an exploratory or biopsy is performed, your pet's bladder and abdomen wall will be closed back up. In some cases, x-rays, catheters, and sterile saline solutions will be used.


Usually your dog will remain hospitalized for a few days after the surgery for monitoring purposes, administering fluids, and to ensure that they heal correctly. Medicine will be given and should continue for a few days, and their water intake should increase to keep them hydrated and to flush the bladder. Cats will typically see a full recovery within two weeks depending on the underlying condition and the efficacy of treatment methods. You should prevent your cat from any high-level activity so they don't rupture their wound. A collar is sometimes required.

For any other questions, please speak with your veterinarian as they will have the best plan and procedures for you and your beloved pet.