Approximately 13 percent of adults age 20 and over — about 26 million adults in the United States — have physiological evidence of some form of chronic kidney disease. Roughly 2.36 million surgeries involve the urinary system each year*.
*Source: National Center for Health Statistics
Urology is the medical and surgical specialty focused on the care of the urinary tracts of males and females and on the reproductive organs of males. WellStar urologic surgeons have special expertise in surgically treating diseases of the kidneys, the adrenal glands, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra and the male reproductive organs. They perform a broad spectrum of emergency and elective inpatient and outpatient surgeries.
WellStar Health System offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient urologic services. Some WellStar urologic surgeons use the da Vinci® Surgical System, a robotic surgical system that offers many patients smaller incisions, fewer complications and shorter recovery times. WellStar has found considerable success with the system in urology, especially for prostatectomy procedures in which the prostate is surrounded by nerves affecting urinary control and sexual function. A urologist performed Georgia’s first robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy.
WellStar Cobb Hospital, WellStar Douglas Hospital, the Surgery Center at WellStar Kennestone Hospital and WellStar Windy Hill Hospital partner with skilled surgeons, who use the most advanced equipment and techniques in modern surgical facilities. These surgeons perform more than 42,000 surgeries each year. For information, call 770.956.STAR (7827).
As with all surgical services at WellStar, urologic surgeons take deliberate and tactful measures to ensure the success of every surgery. A team consisting of nurses, technicians, surgeons and anesthesiologists work together to provide the best urologic care to every patient. Anesthesia is required for all urologic surgeries, although local anesthesia may be used in some procedures. Successful urologic surgery depends upon careful preparation, education and timely recuperation. Recovery and rest is also of the utmost importance in order for the patient to recover fully from any surgical procedure.
Bladder surgery may become necessary if you suffer from cancer or incontinence. There are multiple surgery options for patients with bladder conditions: retropubic suspension, urethral sling procedure, bladder stone removal or artificial urinary sphincter.
Retropubic suspension treats women with incontinence by lifting the bladder and urethra. The surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen in order to lift the bladder from the urethra. The urethral sling procedure is another surgical option for women. A sling is placed around the urethra to return it to its natural position. The sling is attached to the abdominal wall, and because it is made of a synthetic or organic material compatible with the body, it is essentially absorbed.
Bladder stones, small masses of minerals that collect in your bladder, are more common in men. To remove the stones, the surgeon inserts a telescopic tube, called a cystoscope, through your urethra and into your bladder. The stones are crushed by ultrasonic waves or electrohydraulic sparks and then removed through the cystoscope. Sometimes, actual surgery may become necessary to remove the stones if they become too large or hard.
A placement of an artificial urinary sphincter may become necessary when the sphincter muscle becomes much too weak to perform normal urinary function. The artificial sphincter includes an inflatable cuff to keep the urethra from releasing urine, a balloon to control the pressure at the cuff and a control pump. The surgeon makes an incision at the scrotum, labia or lower belly to insert the device.
A nephrectomy is a surgical procedure to remove part or all of a kidney, usually to treat kidney cancer or a severely diseased kidney. The procedure is also used to obtain a donor kidney for a transplant recipient. The procedure may be performed through a single large incision in the side or abdomen or through smaller incisions.
This surgery requires a hospital stay of up to three days, depending on the procedure. You will undergo general anesthesia and will probably have a urinary catheter to drain urine from your bladder. Variations of the actual procedure, such as length of incisions and amount of kidney removal, depend on your condition. Recovery also varies depending on whether you have an open surgery or a procedure utilizing laparoscopic equipment or the da Vinci system.
A prostatectomy is an operation designed to remove all or part of the prostate gland and some of the tissue around it. This procedure is used to treat prostate cancer and may be completed through open surgery or through surgery with smaller incisions.
This surgery requires a hospital stay of up to two days, depending on the procedure. You will undergo general anesthesia and will probably have a urinary catheter to drain urine from your bladder. Variations of the actual procedure, such as length of incisions and amount of prostate removal, depend on your condition. Recovery also varies depending on whether you have an open surgery or a procedure with the da Vinci system.
A vasectomy is a surgical procedure in which the vas deferens within each testicle is clamped, cut or sealed, thus preventing sperm from mixing with the semen. The testicles continue to produce sperm, but it becomes absorbed by the body.
For the vasectomy, your testicles and scrotum will be cleaned with an antiseptic and probably shaved. After the surgeon locates each vas deferens, a local anesthetic is injected into the area. One or two small cuts are made into the scrotum to get to the vas deferens, which are cut and then either tied, stitched or sealed.
This out-patient procedure takes about 30 minutes, and recovery takes a few days. Although this procedure is a form of permanent birth control, it takes several months for the remaining sperm to be ejaculated or reabsorbed by the body. During this period, another form of birth control should be practiced.
In some cases, a vasectomy can be reversed, but options are limited, and fertility might not be achieved or be severely limited.