Advancements in Urological Surgery – What You Need to Know

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After graduating from medical school, doctors undergo a five to six-year residency in their specialty. During this time, they have to take USMLE or COMLEX exams.

Urologists now use minimally invasive techniques that involve small incisions or natural body openings to access the urinary tract and male reproductive organs. This helps reduce pain and hospital stays.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery, also known as laparoscopic or keyhole procedures, came into use in the 1980s and is now used for many surgical procedures. It reduces the trauma to your skin and muscle tissue by making one or more small incisions and inserting slender surgical tools. A camera on a surgical tool called a laparoscope helps surgeons visualize the procedure on a monitor. This minimizes complications, including blood loss, and speeds healing and recovery.

The smaller incisions also reduce the risk of infection. Large incisions can allow bacteria, germs and other contaminants to enter the body and damage tissues or organs. Because there is less tissue damage, you may experience reduced pain and need for pain medications following the surgery. In addition, minimally invasive procedures often require a shorter hospital stay than traditional surgeries and result in faster return to daily activities at home.

Urologist Melbourne have extensive expertise in a range of minimally invasive surgery techniques. For example, we are one of the first hospitals to offer dual robotic consoles, allowing two surgeons to work together on complex operations and shortening the time it takes to perform complicated procedures.

Robotic Surgery

We are proud to have a team of surgeons and staff who can provide the robotic surgery you need for your urologic condition. While the word “robot” may invoke images of humanoid machines plotting to take over the world, robots are often found in factories and warehouses where they perform repetitive tasks and increase precision. In urology, robots are used for minimally invasive procedures and offer greater surgical precision, visualization and flexibility for your doctor.

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During robotic-assisted surgery, your surgeon uses master controls at the console to guide the instrumentation that is inserted into the body through small incisions. A camera attached to the robot provides a three-dimensional, high-definition view of the operating area. This magnified image is 10 times clearer than what your surgeon can see with their naked eye.

While this technology is very popular in urology, it is also being used in other surgical specialties including general surgery, gynecology, ear nose and throat, colorectal and cardiology.

The latest research suggests that surgeons using robotic equipment need to work hard to maintain their ‘situation awareness’ during a procedure. This means they must be aware of the status of their patients, the state of the equipment and how it is working. It is recommended that surgeons work with a team to help them keep this awareness and ensure good outcomes for their patients.

Lasers

A laser is a device that emits radiation in the form of very concentrated light. Its radiation can be either visible (in the spectrum from ultraviolet to infrared) or invisible, depending on the type of laser. Laser radiation does not pose any danger to the human body when used under the proper conditions.

Lasers produce light by excitation of a medium such as a gas (eg, argon, carbon dioxide), liquid (eg, dye) or solid (eg, ruby, neodymium:yttrium-aluminium-garnet or alexandrite). As the particles of the medium return to their ground state, they emit light that is focused into a very small spot of intense brightness. Lasers have the properties of directionality and monochromaticity that make them useful in a variety of surgical applications.

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In urology, lasers are used to cut and cauterize tissues with bloodless precision. They are also employed in laser lithotripsy, which allows for the breaking apart of kidney stones without surgical intervention.

Other urological advances utilizing technology include the development of new robot platforms, an increased portfolio of minimally invasive surgical techniques and mpMRI that allow for more targeted treatment for patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). These advancements allow urologists to treat cases that would have otherwise been conservatively treated in the past, resulting in better outcomes for patients including shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery times.

Advanced Imaging

Current imaging techniques such as CT and MRI are very important in evaluating mass lesions for surgical planning and obtaining clean margins. This ensures that the patient is left with no residual disease which can result in recurrent tumors and other complications including incontinence and loss of sexual potency. In addition, new imaging modalities are improving intraoperative decision making during urological surgeries. These new technologies allow physicians to better evaluate a patient’s anatomy in real time which can reduce or even eliminate the need for repeat biopsies.

While a variety of image modalities exist, the most common are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). These modalities use powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of internal structures and tissues without damaging the patient. They are very useful in detecting cancers, assessing musculoskeletal conditions and evaluating the heart and abdomen.

Recently there has been interest in extending the utility of these modalities to the operating room by utilising them for surgical guidance. This is known as augmented reality. Two studies of this type have utilised prototype cystoscopes with a display which superimposes navigation information on the actual endoscopic or surgical microscopic images that surgeons see during their procedure. This allows them to access the target area without having to move their eyes away from the patient or the navigation monitor.

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Perera Urology
Suite 118/55 Flemington Rd,
North Melbourne VIC 3051
1300 884 673
www.pereraurology.com