“As a urologist, I specialize in conditions that require surgery,” says McLeod Urologist Dr. Ronald Glinski. “We deal with problems of the urinary tract, which includes everything from kidneys and kidney stones to the bladder and urethra (the duct by which urine is conveyed out of the body from the bladder). ”
Urology crosses a gamut of conditions, relating to the urinary tract from incontinence and urinary tract infections (UTIs) to cancer. Some patients see a urologist when they need reconstructive surgery because of a problem in the genitourinary system — the organ system of the reproductive organs and the urinary system.
SURGERY’S CHANGING FACE
Just as with most other operations, urological surgery has largely moved from so-called “open” procedures with large incisions to endoscopic (for kidney stones) or laparoscopic for other purposes using small incisions, where long trocars or tubes are inserted into the patient. Various instruments go through the trocars to perform this surgery, also called keyhole surgery, because of the small incisions used.
The most recent major step is the introduction of robotic-assisted surgery for many surgeries. With this, the surgeon sits at a console, directing the robot to move the trocars and instruments.
From the surgeon’s perspective, the major advantages of robotic-assisted surgery include the ability to see in 3-D with magnification and the increased flexibility for the surgeon in manipulating the robot compared to doing it by hand. From the patient’s perspective, smaller incisions result in less pain and faster recovery.
Urologists are at the forefront of treating men with prostate cancer. If a patient’s cancer is advanced, a tumor board comprised with a cross section of specialists can recommend chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery or a combination of the treatments, depending on the cancer.
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