The Urostomy Association was founded on a basis of lived experience and an understanding of the need for specialised information and support.
Surgeons have been developing bladder removal and other urinary diversions since the 1880s. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, techniques improved and in the 1950s a procedure called an ilieal coduit was developed. This remained the most prevalent procedure for many years.
In May 1971, Laurie Kenefick, a charge nurse at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, met Valerie Kings, a patient who had received a urinary diversion and was experiencing problems. Laurie gave her advice based on his experience with his patients, They decided to investigate the formation of an association specifically for people with a urinary stoma.
In September 1971, 25 potential members and two company representatives met for the first time at the Christie Hospital and decided to form an association. The first meeting of the registered charity, the Urinary Ileostomy Association, took place on 4 March 1972. This was followed by the first edition of the Journal magazine in June 1972.
The Urostomy Association, as it has become known, has continued to provide emotional and practical support ever since.
Over that time, more surgical options have been developed. The best choice for an individual now depends on factors including their age, general health and lifestyle requirements. New developments in surgical techniques, particularly the introduction of laparoscopic and robotic surgery, will see further evolution of the choices available.