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  • I use NBMS for my catheter supplies and words cannot express how satisfied I am. My orders are always filled quickly and the staff is so friendly and efficient. They are so helpful when I have questions and are generous with information. I appreciate New Britain Medical and all they do for me. They definitely have a fan for life!

    - Molly H.

    I was a little hesitant leaving my previous medical supplier consisting of 50 plus employees because I was comfortable with them. Now after over 7 years using New Britain Medical Supplies, I have been completely satisfied. I am greeted on a personal basis and all of my physical and personal needs are met promptly. Whether it is a change in medical supplies or insurance, they have helped me get my supplies the next day to my door with no questions asked. I know I can trust New Britain Medical because of Joey’s insights and personal experiences using the products he sells.

    - Darrell R. - Occupational Therapist, T-8 Paraplegic

  • Peeing Through Your Belly Button with the Magical Mitroffanoff

    bellybuttonWhen you find out you can’t voluntarily use your bladder anymore, let me tell you it’s no walk through Central Park.

    When it’s due to paralysis, your options are even more limited since both your sensation and ability to move the muscles are affected. Now that’s an uphill battle, and when you’re in this oh-so coveted position, you only have about 4 options, and none are perfect.

    There is however one option in my mind that’s better than any in-dwelling catheter, and that’s the Mitroffanoff procedure; the 4 to 6 hour surgery where they put a stoma (hole + conduit) in your belly button, which after a month of healing you can catheterize yourself through. If you’re lucky, it should heal in a non-descript way, hiding out in your belly button and no one knowing the wiser.

    This procedure was named after the doctor that invented it, Dr. Paul Mitroffanoff, a surgeon frm from Germany. He began doing this procedure in the 1980’s, and fyi – there’s disagreement among surgeons over where the stoma should be placed. Some prefer to put the stoma to the left or right of the belly button and not directly inside it. Most however have no problem putting it directly in the belly button as to better camouflage it (hopefully you’ll find a doctor willing to do this).

    I have to admit it was difficult though to finally get on board for this surgery. At first it seemed like such a massive change to my body that I couldn’t bear it. I had just broken my neck; voluntarily messing up my bladder permanently wasn’t something I was interested in. It was so scary to think of, and the video they showed me of this procedure in rehab really did not help.

    But after years of using another bladder option – an indwelling catheter – and having my body reject it after 12 years (my bladder began voiding around the inflated balloon) I had no option but to seriously consider the Mitroffanoff procedure.

    Luckily, there was a surgeon in my area, so after meeting with him it was only a matter of scheduling the surgery. The surgery was a toughie thoough; I’ll warn you.

    To enlarge my bladder, which was an additional part of my surgery (this isn’t always required; some bladders do not shrink like mine did), they used part of my lower intestines to make my bladder bigger, and this is quite ingenious. This made it possible for me to once again retain fluid in my bladder for longer periods without voiding or having to rush to use the catheter. I’ve been amazed at how effective this surgery can be.

    It’s been almost 10 years since having my Mitroffanoff procedure done and it has improved my life more than anything prior. Not only are my fashion options better (no more “external plumbing” to hide), I feel more way confident in my body, and that is priceless.

    But one of the most important reasons to get this surgery – the health benefits. No longer do you need to rely on a catheter that’s in you 24/7. These have been linked to bladder cancer. You’ll also get less UTIs.

    If you decide to get this procedure, make sure you order enough catheters each month. I use about 4 to 6 straight silicon (size 14 french) catheters everyday, but I often times run out by the end of the month and will have to reuse catheters, which usually always produces a UTI. I’ve been OCD about ordering on time for years, and it’s one of the smartest things I do on a regular basis.

    Happy cathing, and hopefully this post has enlightened you to even more exciting bladder management options.

    – Learn more: the Mitroffanoff on Wikipedia

    Do you have the Mitroffanoff procedure? How is it working for ya?