Urology is a surgical specialty dealing with diseases of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs. Urologists at the George Washington University Hospital can help patients experiencing various conditions.
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The prostate, a walnut-sized gland surrounding the male urethra, is responsible for producing the seminal fluid that transports sperm. More than 200,000 cases of prostate cancer are newly diagnosed in the United States each year with approximately 25,000 men dying from it, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The da Vinci™ Prostatectomy, which is a minimally invasive method of removing the prostate gland, is an option for some men with prostate cancer. The procedure lowers the risk of incontinence and impotence that are common side effects of standard prostate cancer surgery. GW Hospital performs more prostate cancer surgeries using the da Vinci robot than any other hospital in the region.
Podcast: What the New Prostate Screening Guidelines Mean for Men’s Health
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Many men over the age of 50 encounter the common problems of an enlarged prostate. The condition can obstruct urine flow, which leads to difficulty with urination, getting up frequently during the night to urinate, infections or even kidney stones.
Some of the risk factors for bladder cancer include increasing age, smoking or tobacco use, exposure to certain chemicals at work and a family history of bladder cancer. GW Hospital is the first in Washington, D.C. to offer Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview®, an optical imaging agent that improves the detection of hard-to-find cancerous bladder tumors.
Kidney stones, tiny crystalline masses that separate from the urine, are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract. In most cases, kidney stones pass out of the body unnoticed, but sometimes they can become too large and lodge in the urinary tract, causing extreme pain.
Genetic conditions, such as von Hippel-Lindau disease, tuberous sclerosis or hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma, as well as long-term dialysis and a high fat diet are risk factors for kidney cancer. Anyone can develop kidney cancer, although it usually affects people over age 50.
For many patients, a kidney-sparing approach called robotic partial nephrectomy, is an option. This procedure uses the da Vinci Surgical System to remove only the cancerous portion of the kidney, preserving as much of the unaffected kidney as possible.
Other Kidney Disorders
Urologists often work in conjunction with the Nephrology Services staff to care for patients with chronic kidney disease or an acute kidney injury.
Occurring most often in younger men, testicular cancer is usually treatable and curable. Risk factors include undescended testicles, a family history of testicular cancer or Klinefelter’s syndrome.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
The GW Pelvic Floor Center offers solutions for those dealing with leakage or loss of bladder control.