Types of Reconstructive Urology Surgery

Reconstructive urology surgery may be the answer if you have problems with your urinary tract — whether from disease or injury. Doctors can move, fix, or rebuild parts of the urinary system or reproductive organs with robotic surgery.

UPMC offers cutting-edge surgeries and treatments for men with urologic problems. Here are some of the health issues we see and how we treat them.

Health Issues We Treat With Reconstructive Urology

Problems with the male urinary tract and reproductive system can be complex. It’s vital to see a specialist for treatment. Doctors who specialize in reconstructive urology treat a wide range of health issues, including:

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Types of Male Reconstructive Urology Surgery

The type of urology surgery you need will depend on your disease. While reconstructive surgeries can be complex, our doctors use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. Robotic surgery can help reduce pain and help you get better faster.

Some types of reconstructive urology surgeries include:


Treatment for: Removing scar tissue (stricture) that can block the urethra.

What happens in the surgery: Doctors open the stricture with robotic surgery. If that’s not possible, they remove the damaged part of the urethra and reconnect the healthy tissue.

Fistula surgery

Treatment for: Closing a fistula. A fistula is an abnormal opening between a urinary tract organ and another organ. It’s often between the bladder and colon.

What happens in the surgery: Doctors remove the damaged part of the organ. Then they move healthy tissue to block the opening.

Bladder reconstruction

Treatment for: The partial or total removal of the bladder due to cancer.

What happens in the surgery: Doctors make a new bladder from a piece of the small intestine. They attach the ureters and urethra, so it works like your old bladder.

Buried penis surgery

Treatment for: Freeing a penis engulfed by the belly, thighs, or scrotum.

What happens in the surgery: Doctors remove extra fat, skin, and scar tissue around the penis. Removing the excess skin and fat helps the penis function again.

Prosthetic urology

Treatment for: ED, when a man can’t get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Doctors usually suggest medicine and lifestyle changes before suggesting surgery. Doctors also use prosthetics to treat severe cases of Peyronie’s disease.

What happens in the surgery: Doctors implant a penile prosthesis. It is a mechanical device that no one can see from the outside. The device may be inflatable, with a scrotum pump, or it may be a bendable rod implanted in the penis.

Ureter reconstruction

Treatment for: Damaged or diseased ureters, the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder.

What happens in the surgery: Doctors remove the damaged or diseased part of the ureter. They then attach the healthy end of the ureter to another part of the bladder.

Ureteropelvic junction obstruction surgery

Treatment for: A blocked kidney, which can happen after having kidney stones or surgery. The blockage stops or slows the flow of urine into the bladder.

What happens in the surgery: Doctors remove the blockage with robotic surgery. This type of surgery speeds up recovery time.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence sling surgery

Treatment for: UI, the involuntary leaking of urine. UI sometimes happens after surgery or because of an enlarged prostate or a disease like diabetes. Doctors usually suggest lifestyle changes and medicine before the surgery.

What happens in the surgery: In UI sling surgery, doctors place a sling around the end of the urethra. This provides support for the organ and helps stop urine from leaking.

Artificial urinary sphincter surgery

Treatment for: Chronic UI or neurogenic bladder. Neurogenic bladder is loss of bladder control due to brain or spinal cord problems. That could be a side effect of pelvic surgery, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, or stroke.

What happens in the surgery: Doctors insert an inflatable cuff that fits around the urethra, and that helps keep urine from leaking. The cuff does the work of the muscles that normally hold urine. When you need to pee, you relax the cuff of the artificial sphincter through a control bulb placed in the scrotum.

Innovations in Reconstructive Urology

At UPMC, our experts use state-of-the-art robotic surgery to repair and treat complex urologic problems whenever possible.

Robotic surgery for male reconstructive urology decreases surgery risks. It also shortens your recovery time after the surgical treatment.

Our goal is to provide hope to people with urologic problems and improve their quality of life.

At UPMC Mercy:

  • We use the da Vinci Surgical System® for robotic surgery. Robotic surgery reduces discomfort, decreases recovery time, and leaves less scarring. Doctors can operate on hard-to-reach parts of the body and do complex surgeries.
  • We’re reconstructive urology experts. Our experts travel around the world. They help educate and train other doctors in complex surgical techniques.
  • We see complex cases every day. UPMC Mercy is a national referral center for genital and urinary reconstructive surgery. We see many complex issues, including buried penis and urethral stricture.
  • We get you in and out fast. We’re decreasing the time you spend in the hospital. Many people who have surgery here go home the same day.
  • We’re moving into the future of high-tech. We’re now working on a prosthetic that functions using Bluetooth technology.

How Can I Find a Reconstructive Urologist Near Me?

To make an appointment for urology services at UPMC Mercy, call 412-232-5850.

We are at:

Mercy Professional Building

1350 Locust St.

Suite G100-A

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Learn more about urology at UPMC.

National Library of Medicine, Artificial urinary sphincter, Link

NHS, Surgery and procedures: Urinary incontinence, Link

Urology Care Foundation, Ureteropelvic Junction (UPJ) Obstruction, Link

Cancer Research UK, Bladder reconstruction, Link

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, Penile Curvature (Peyronie's Disease), Link

Urology Care Foundation, Bladder Fistula, Link

Urology Care Foundation, Neurogenic Bladder, Link

Urology Care Foundation, Urethral Stricture Disease, Link

National Library of Medicine, Fundamentals of prosthetic urology, Link

About Urology

The UPMC Department of Urology offers a wide variety of specialized care for diseases of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs, including erectile dysfunction, kidney stones, urinary incontinence, prostate cancer, and more. We have a multifaceted team of physicians and researchers working together to provide the best care to both children and adults. Our team is nationally renowned for expertise in highly specialized technologies and minimally invasive surgical techniques. To find a provider near you, visit our website.