Surgery Tips

Urologic Surgery and its Common Procedures

Urologic surgery is a specialized field of surgery that deals with the diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases and disorders of the urinary tract and male reproductive system.

Urologic surgeons also known as urologists are highly trained and skilled in performing a variety of surgical procedures including minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopic, robotic-assisted surgeries and more complex surgeries like radical prostatectomy, bladder reconstruction and kidney transplantation.

Some of the most common conditions treated with urologic surgery include prostate cancer, bladder cancer, kidney stones, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and infertility.

Urologic surgery can be performed in a hospital or an outpatient surgical center depending on the complexity of the procedure and the patient’s condition. Some procedures may be performed with local or regional anesthesia while others require general anesthesia.

Urologic surgery has evolved significantly in recent years with new technologies and techniques emerging that offer improved outcomes and faster recovery times. Patients with urologic conditions should discuss their treatment options with a urologic surgeon to determine the best course of action for their individual needs.

Common Urology Procedures

An urologist can perform a variety of procedures to diagnose and treat urologic conditions. Some common ones include the followings.

1. Lithotripsy

This procedure breaks down stones in the urinary system using shock waves or a laser.

2. Orchiopexy

This surgical procedure repairs an undescended testicle by moving it from the abdomen or groin area into the scrotum and attaching it with a tacking stitch.

3. Penile Plication

This outpatient procedure treats curvature of the penis caused by Peyronie’s disease by placing permanent sutures on the opposite side of the scarring.

4. Penile Implants & Prosthesis

These devices are inserted into the penis to allow men with erectile dysfunction to achieve an erection. They are typically recommended after other treatments have failed.

5. Male Circumcision

This surgical procedure involves removing the foreskin from the tip of the penis and is commonly performed on newborn boys in different parts of the world, including the US.

6. Vasectomy

This surgical procedure is used for permanent male birth control. It involves cutting and sealing the vas deferens, which carries sperm from the testicles. It’s an outpatient procedure that usually takes 10-30 minutes. According to the American Urological Association, around 500,000 men get vasectomies each year in the US.

7. Vasectomy Reversal

If a man who has had a vasectomy decides he wants to try and father children again, a vasectomy reversal can be performed. Microsurgical techniques are used to repair the vas deferens. However, success is not guaranteed and certain factors are necessary for the reversal to be successful.

8. Cystoscopy

This procedure allows an urologist to examine the lining of the bladder and urethra using a long, thin tube with a light and camera at the end, called a cystoscope. It’s commonly used to diagnose and treat bladder conditions and can also diagnose an enlarged prostate.

9. Ureteroscopy

Ureteroscopy is a procedure used to diagnose and treat kidney stones. An ureteroscope, a long, thin tube with a light and camera, is guided through the urethra and bladder and up the urethra to locate the kidney stone. Small stones are removed entirely, while larger ones require lithotripsy, a procedure that breaks up the stone.

10. Prostate Procedures

Urologists offer several procedures to diagnose and treat prostate conditions, including:

• Prostate biopsy: A laboratory examination procedure that involves removing tissue samples from the prostate gland.
• UroLift: An in-office, minimally invasive procedure that treats mild to moderate prostate enlargement.
• Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA): A radiofrequency ablation procedure that shrinks prostate tissue, reducing urinary symptoms caused by pressure on the urethra.
• Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): A minimally invasive procedure that uses a resectoscope to trim and seal prostate tissue for men experiencing difficulty in urination due to an enlarged prostate.
• Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP): A procedure to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) that creates small openings in the bladder neck using a small endoscope inserted through the urethra.

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