Urology is medical specialty that focuses on medical and surgical diseases of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra in both genders, as well as the male reproductive system and genitalia. Urology also includes a subspecialty known as female pelvic medicine (urogynecology) that deals with female incontinence and pelvic prolapse.
Urological Surgery for Conditions Affecting Both Genders
At Marin General Hospital, we provide state-of-the-art, multi-modal treatment for cancers of the urinary tract, including surgery where appropriate for both men and women.
As with most cancers, bladder cancer may require a multimodal treatment approach, including chemotherapy and intravesical therapy. You can read more about these options here. Chemotherapy may be given prior to surgery to shrink visible tumors and eradicate any microscopic metastases. Superficial tumors may only require surgical removal and frequent monitoring to make sure the tumor does not recur. Surgical treatments include:
- Robotic Cystectomy: This treatment includes the surgical removal of part or all of the bladder and possibly its surrounding organs using the da Vinci® robotic system. Read more about the advantages of using robotic surgery for treatment of urologic conditions at Marin General Hospital. <LINK TO robotic urological surgery subpage>
- Creation of a Neobladder: This reconstructive surgery allows the patient to retain a functional urinary tract. The surgeon removes the cancerous bladder plus a section of the patient’s small intestine. While the patient is still under anesthesia, the section of intestine is reshaped into a new bladder (neobladder). One end of the neobladder is then attached to the ureters and the other, to the urethra. This creates a functional bladder that allows an individual to maintain urinary control without the need for external bags or appliances. Marin General Hospital is the only hospital in Marin—and one of just a few in the Bay Area—to perform this innovative bladder replacement surgery.
Surgical Treatments for Localized Kidney Cancer: Radical or Partial Nephrectomy
During a radical nephrectomy, the surgeon removes the kidney and surrounding tissue, often including the adrenal gland and nearby lymph nodes. A partial nephrectomy removes only the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue but leaves part of the affected kidney intact. Both radical and partial nephrectomies can be performed through open surgery or using the da Vinci® robotic system. Read more about the advantages of using robotic surgery <LINK TO robotic urological surgery subpage> for treatment of urologic conditions at Marin General Hospital.