The Center for Genitourinary Reconstruction offers individualized and advanced surgical treatment options for patients with common and uncommon lower urinary tract and genital conditions, disorders and anomalies.
The population served primarily consists of male adolescents and adults, but also includes some female patients who are born with genitourinary system abnormalities and have problems persisting into adolescence and childhood.
The center is staffed by three surgeons, a fellow, resident physicians, a nurse specialist and a nurse practitioner. When necessary, additional medical and surgical specialists are available within the Cleveland Clinic system to provide coordinated comprehensive care.
The surgeons within the center have treated patients from across the world and are recognized internationally for providing successful care to patients with genitourinary health issues.
An appointment to the center begins with a thorough physician exam and any necessary diagnostic tests. After this process is completed, the physician and his/her team will discuss possible treatment options and determine the best course of action likely to provide a positive long-term result and favorable quality of life.
Physicians also will share notes and records with the patient’s referring physician with the patient’s consent. This provides an all-around coordination of care.
The genitourinary tract is the system most often affected by congenital defects (problems present at the time of birth). Such problems may occur alone such as in hypospadias where the urinary opening is located in an abnormal spot along the bottom side of the penis, or involve multiple organ systems like in myelodysplasia (spina bifida) where there may be bowel and bone problems as well. Preservation of kidney function and urinary control are the most prominent foci of urological care provided in childhood. However, as children with congenital anomalies of the genitourinary system are entering adolescence and adulthood with excellent health, issues of sexuality, genital appearance and function, urinary and bowel incontinence, and fertility are becoming important health and quality of life issues. In addition, patients who are born with these problems later experience typical age-related urological problems such as prostate enlargement and prostate cancer that are then more difficult to treat as a result of their previous condition or prior surgeries.
Our Transitional Urology program works with patients with childhood anomalies to balance multiple complex and sometimes competing urological and personal needs. We combine our medical plan with the patient's own personal health objectives to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses the patient's needs. The initial visit to our center typically involves a detailed review of the patient's medical and surgical history and assessment of his/her current urological status. Information about kidney function, urinary and bowel control, sexual health, and age-related cancer screening is obtained. Sometimes additional testing with highly specialized x-rays, diagnostic procedures, or additional lab work is necessary to thoroughly assess the patient. After all of this information is obtained and evaluated, we map out a plan with each patient to address the genitourinary problems they are currently experiencing and as well as plan for future needs. For patients with congenital defects affecting multiple organ systems, we work closely with Transitional Medicine specialists in other departments to provide comprehensive care for this unique and challenging patient population.