If you have problems with your bladder or other parts of your urinary tract, your doctor may suggest surgery.
Reconstructive urology surgery can help restore function and improve your quality of life. It can help you overcome erectile dysfunction (ED), recover from cancer surgery, or heal from a traumatic injury.
Here’s what you need to know about reconstructive urology surgery.
What Is Reconstructive Urology Surgery?
Reconstructive urology surgery is any surgical treatment that allows a man’s urinary system to function better. That includes both urinary and sexual functioning.
Illness, injury, and side effects from treatments can all affect your urinary system. Sometimes surgery is the best way to treat these problems. The goal of surgery is to bring back function and appearance.
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Reasons for Reconstructive Surgery
Men may need reconstructive urology surgery for different reasons.
Side effects from treatments for other diseases can affect how the urinary system works. So can traumatic accidents, like car crashes. Some health issues, like buried penis, can change how the genitals look and work.
Reasons you may need reconstructive urology surgery include:
- You’ve suffered a traumatic injury to the genital organs or urinary tract.
- Radiation for cancer or other treatments has affected the way your urinary tract works.
- You have ED that hasn’t responded to other treatments.
- You have an illness such as multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, or Parkinson’s disease that has affected the urinary tract.
- You have had a stroke.
- You have a disease that affects your genitals, such as Peyronie’s disease or buried penis.
- You have cancer (such as bladder cancer) that requires the removal of all or part of a reproductive or urinary organ.
Health Issues Treated With Reconstructive Urology
Doctors treat a range of urologic issues with reconstructive surgery. Some of them are:
- Traumatic injuries to the penis or scrotum.
- Urethral stricture disease.
- Bladder fistulas.
- Buried penis.
- Neurogenic bladder.
- Peyronie’s disease.
- Urinary incontinence.
- Ureteropelvic junction.
- Complications from bladder cancer.
Treatment for Reconstructive Urology
Your treatment will depend on your health issue. Reconstructive urology surgeries can be complex, so 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 are:
Urethroplasty is a surgical treatment to remove scar tissue, or stricture, in the urethra. Surgeons can use this surgery to remove a stricture gluing the urethra together. Or, they may take out the damaged part of the urethra and reconnect the urethral tube.
Bladder fistula surgery
A bladder fistula is an abnormal opening between the bladder and colon. In fistula surgery, doctors remove the damaged part of the organ and move healthy tissue to block the opening.
If you have bladder cancer, you may have part or all of your bladder removed to get rid of cancer. After removing the diseased bladder, doctors may be able to make a new bladder from part of your small intestine. They sew the new bladder onto the ureters and the urethra.
Buried penis surgery
A buried penis is a health issue that mostly occurs in morbidly obese men. The penis becomes trapped by the skin of the belly, thighs, or scrotum.
In surgery, doctors remove extra fat, skin, and scar tissue around the penis to free it. They may remove fat and skin from the belly or the fat pad above the pubic area. They may also remove a flap of skin and fat that hangs over the genitals and thighs.
Many men suffer from ED. ED is a health issue when a man can’t get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Medicine and lifestyle changes are usually the first things doctors suggest.
If those don’t work, surgery may be an option. Doctors may also use prosthetic urology to treat Peyronie’s disease, a curvature of the penis.
A penile prosthesis is a mechanical device surgically implanted in a man’s body. You cannot see it from the outside. The device can either be inflatable or a bendable rod.
The ureters are tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder. They can be damaged by disease. Your doctor may suggest reconstructive surgery to remove the diseased part of the ureter and implant the healthy section into another part of the bladder.
Ureteropelvic junction obstruction surgery
An obstruction happens when one of the kidneys gets blocked, usually after kidney stones or surgery. The blockage stops or slows the flow of urine. Doctors remove the blockage with open or robotic surgery.
The goal of this surgery and other reconstructive urology surgical treatment is always to help you return to a normal lifestyle. Your doctor can answer questions about these surgeries and what’s right for you.
Urinary incontinence sling surgery
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leaking of urine throughout the day. Incontinence can happen after surgery, because of an enlarged prostate, or due to a disease like diabetes.
Lifestyle changes and medicine may help. If they don’t, your doctor may suggest urinary incontinence sling surgery.
In this surgical treatment, doctors place a sling around the end of the urethra. This provides support and helps stop urine from leaking.
Artificial urinary sphincter surgery
Sometimes men lose bladder control due to brain or spinal cord problems. This issue, called neurogenic bladder, can be a side effect of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, or stroke. You may also get a neurogenic bladder after major pelvic surgery.
Your doctor may suggest an artificial urinary sphincter for neurogenic bladder or any other type of severe incontinence.
This inflatable cuff helps keep urine from leaking from the urethra. It does the work of sphincters, muscles that help your body hold in urine. When you need to pee, you press a bulb (located in the scrotum) that relaxes the cuff of the artificial sphincter.
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
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
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.