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Genitourinary Surgery

Cancers that develop in (male) reproductive organs and the urinary tract fall in the category of genitourinary cancers. Bladder, kidney, prostate and testicular cancers are among the most common of these cancers. At NorthShore, our collaborative team of specialists at the Kellogg Cancer Center and the John and Carol Walter Center for Urological Health partner to provide personalized cancer care. We offer integrated comprehensive care, from screening to the full range of cancer treatment options including advanced minimally invasive techniques to achieve the best outcomes.

NorthShore features fellowship-trained urological oncologists who have specific expertise in the treatment of a variety of genitourinary cancers. Skilled in all types of surgical techniques, our experts have extensive experience employing state-of-the-art robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System. This minimally invasive approach helps to reduce pain, decrease blood loss and shorten recovery times. Most patients quickly resume normal daily activities soon after robotic surgery.

Our specialists also initiate and participate in clinical trials to discover new treatments and advance surgical techniques for a wide array of genitourinary cancers. Although not all patients may fit the criteria for enrollment in a clinical trial, your urological oncologist will discuss available options based on your diagnosis.

Bladder Cancer
Cancer of the bladder comes a close second to prostate cancer as the most common of urologic malignancies. While it affects both men and women, this complex genitourinary cancer develops most often in men. The surgical removal of bladder tumors is typically the first step toward accurate diagnosis, staging and treatment planning. At NorthShore, our urologic oncology specialists possess specific expertise in bladder cancer surgery not found at all medical centers.

Our knowledgeable surgeons perform “incision-less” endoscopic procedures known as TURBT (transurethral resection of a bladder tumor). The outpatient procedure involves removing tumors via a scope inserted through the urethra into the bladder. For more advanced cancer cases requiring removal of the bladder (radical cystectomy), NorthShore’s specialists have led the way in advancing the use of minimally invasive robotic cystectomy as well as open surgery techniques.

Kidney Cancer
Kidney tumors do not respond to traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Surgery leads to the best outcomes for treating kidney (renal) cancer, especially for the removal of small localized masses. At NorthShore, our urologic oncologists are well versed in using advanced minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic approaches as well as open kidney-sparing techniques to precisely target tumors. Active surveillance is also another option in the well selected patient.

Our specialists have considerable experience performing partial to total nephrectomies to surgically remove renal tumors and surrounding tissue. Our goal is always to preserve as much of the kidney and kidney function as possible. More advanced kidney cancer demands exceptional expertise. NorthShore’s multidisciplinary approach allows our urologic experts to seamlessly partner with other specialists within our multi-hospital system to develop the best surgical approach to your specific situation.

NorthShore also offers a wide-range of image-guided ablative procedures. Cryoablation, microwave ablation and radiofrequency ablation are very promising modalities for treating kidney tumors.

Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer follows skin cancer as the most common cancer in men in the United States. For early stage localized prostate cancer, radical prostatectomy is a common treatment option to surgically remove the prostate gland and select surrounding tissue. NorthShore specialists perform this advanced procedure using the latest robotic technology and nerve sparing techniques to minimize potential side effects and maintain quality of life.

Patients at NorthShore benefit from a robust multidisciplinary approach. With specialists in sexual medicine, urinary incontinence and physical therapy, to name a few, we stand ready to provide you with individualized treatment plans to address specific needs and concerns. Support services are also available.

At NorthShore, we have the largest active surveillance program for prostate cancer in the Chicago area and the third largest in the country. A slow growing cancer for about 40 percent of men, low grade tumors can be safely observed over time. By carefully taking a “watch and wait” approach, we can provide the right treatment strategies—including surgery—at the right time for each and every patient.

Testicular Cancer
A rare cancer, testicular cancer will develop in about 1 of every 250 young and middle-aged men at some point during their lifetime. The surgical removal of the testicles is typically the first step toward accurate diagnosis, staging and treatment planning. At NorthShore, our urologic oncology specialists possess specific expertise in testicular cancer surgery not offered at all medical centers.

Testicular cancer is highly treatable, often involving a multimodal approach that combines chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery to achieve optimal results. Our experienced surgeons work alongside medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and other specialists to develop personalized treatment plans.

For localized non-metastatic testicular cancer, a simple outpatient procedure to remove the testicles (radical inguinal orchiectomy) may be the only surgical treatment needed. Depending on the staging and tumor type, more advanced cancer may require the removal of lymph nodes at the back of the abdomen. This open surgical procedure is called retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) and demands highly skilled surgical expertise. NorthShore’s specialists have extensive experience with lymph node resections for a number of genitourinary cancers, including testicular as well as bladder and kidney.

For More Information
For more information about genitourinary surgery, please call 847.503.3000