Here at North Downs Hospital in Surrey we specialise in a range of surgical and diagnostic techniques in Urology. Our urologists specialise in a variety of treatments varying from vasectomies to the treatment of bladder incontinence.
Urology is the medical study on the conditions associated with the urinary tract in both men and women. This field of medicine also covers the male reproductive organs. The treatment of the female reproductive organs is known as gynaecology.
At North Downs Hospital in Surrey, we value patient feedback and take pride in our top UK consultants and their expertise. We offer an assortment of non-surgical treatments alongside our surgical solutions and formulate the management of your condition around your lifestyle.
Urological Treatments Available at North Downs Hospital
Bladder Condition Diagnosis
North Downs Hospital specialises in a variety of diagnostic techniques ranging from cystoscopy to certain types of biopsies. We realise that going through the diagnostic process can prove daunting and stressful – we aim to make this process as straight-forward and easy for you as a patient, as possible.
A cystoscopy involves the use of a cystoscope (flexible tube with a camera attached at one end) which is inserted into the urethra and subsequently into the bladder. The urethra is the tube within the body which allows removal of urine.
A numbing agent is then used on your urethra so that you do not feel any pain. This procedure usually takes approximately 5 minutes and allows specialists to inspect and examine the inside of your bladder.
Transurethral Resection of a Bladder Tumour (TURBT)
If there is an abnormality that is found in your bladder, such as a mass, you may have to undergo a transurethral resection of a bladder tumour (TURBT). This enables surgeons to remove and test tissue for conditions such as cancer. This is known as a biopsy.
This procedure is usually undertaken under general anaesthetic.
A circumcision is a procedure used to remove the “hood” of skin which covers the end of the penis. This is known as the foreskin of the penis. This is usually a day case and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital.
Circumcisions are used in the treatment of balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO), balanitis, phimosis, recurrent infections and pain during sexual intercourse.
The procedure in adults requires the use of general anaesthetic. During the operation, the surgeon will use a scalpel, surgical clamp or scissors to aid the removal of the foreskin. The wound is then sealed with heat (cauterised) or stitched with dissolvable stitches. Circumcision usually takes between 30-45 minutes.
Penile straightening is a surgical solution to correct the curvature of the penis during an erection. A curvature in the penis can be caused by Peyronie’s disease – a condition which causes the scarring of tissue inside the penile shaft.
The procedure involves the use of spinal or general anaesthetic. An artificial erection is stimulated with the use of medications or saltwater solution. The surgeon will then either perform Nesbit’s procedure or the Lue procedure.
The Nesbit technique involves stitching or the “bunching” up of the side of the penis which does not have scar tissue in order to straighten the penis.
The Lue procedure involves vein grafting the scarred area – a cut may be made in front of the ankle to acquire a vein graft.
The prostate is a gland found in men. It is used to produce semen, located between the penis and bladder.
You may require a prostate biopsy if a lump has been found which is suspected to be cancerous or a blood test has revealed an unusually high-level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
The procedure can be performed in several ways, it involves the insertion of a needle through the urethra, through the perineum (between the anus and scrotum) or through the rectum. The transrectal biopsy is used most regularly.
The biopsy will then allow medical professionals to inspect the cells and formulate a diagnosis.
Treatment of Bladder Cancers
Here at North Downs Hospital we treat non-muscle invasive bladder cancers. We understand that going through cancer can be a stressful and emotional time for you and your family. North Downs Hospital are here to support you through the diagnostic process, treatment plan and aftercare for your condition, alongside full emotional support.
Intravesical Therapy for Bladder Cancer (Mitomycin C)
Intravesical therapy for bladder cancer involves the use of drugs in the form of a liquid that is passed through a catheter (tube) into the bladder. This treatment is aimed to treat cancer and prevent further spread of the cancer within the bladder.
Initially the catheter is passed through your urethra (tube which carries urine out of the body), a chemotherapy drug is then passed through the catheter and into your bladder, using the chemotherapy drug Mitomycin C.
The catheter then may be removed and you pass the drug through urine naturally or the drug will be drained from your bladder via the catheter.
Intravesical Therapy for Bladder Cancer (BCG)
Intravesical therapy using BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) is normally used if the patient has a high chance of cancer returning or spreading into deeper areas of the bladder.
BCG itself is actually a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) and is effective in the treatment of bladder cancer. The treatment is done via intravesical therapy, the insertion of the liquid drug into your bladder via a catheter (tube).
The treatment plan depends on your individual circumstances and you may have a treatment weekly for 6 weeks or what is called maintenance BCG therapy. Maintenance BCG therapy involves having the treatment every few weeks or months for a set amount of years. All treatments vary according to the patient and the extent of their condition.
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a surgery in which part of the prostate is removed. It is usually performed when there is an enlargement of the prostate gland – where non-surgical solutions such as the use of medication have failed.
Symptoms of an enlarged prostate include problems with urination and having to recurrently urinate during the evening.
The procedure involves the use of a resectoscope (metal tube including a camera and loop of wire) it is passed through your urethra until the prostate is reached. The wire loop will then be heated via an electric current and the section of prostate that’s causing you problems, is cut away. A catheter (thin tube) is then inserted through your urethra and fluid is passed through it in order to “flush” the removed parts of your prostate away.
Conventional Vasectomy & No-Scalpel Vasectomy
A Vasectomy (male sterilisation) is a method of contraception. It is a minor operation and involves the blocking or sealing of the tubes (vas deferens) which carry sperm from the testicles to the penis – preventing sperm from reaching the seminal fluid. This means there is no sperm within the semen and prevents a woman from becoming pregnant.
A conventional vasectomy is practiced under local anaesthetic. The medical professional will then make cuts either side of the scrotum. This allows surgeons to gain access to the vas deferens in order to remove a small section of them. The ends of the tubes are then sealed by heat or tied and the incisions stitched up with dissolvable stitches.
A no-scalpel vasectomy does not involve surgical incisions in order to expose the vas deferens. Instead the surgeon will feel the vas deferens beneath the skin and proceed to clamp them. An instrument is then used to pierce a hole into the skin, which is then “opened” up with forceps. The surgeon will then proceed in the same way as a conventional vasectomy – tying or sealing the tubes.Vasectomy Reversal (Vasovasostomy)
Although classed as a permanent form of contraception, a vasectomy can be reversed in some instances. Normally performed under general anaesthetic it is a procedure which reconnects the vas deferens which were cut during a vasectomy.
In some cases fertility is not established which means blockages can form within the vas deferens. In general the shorter the time there was between the vasectomy and vasectomy reversal the greater the chance of success.
We are very proud to be working alongside some excellent Urology consultants who are highly respected in their speciality and come highly recommended by previous patients. All of our consultants go through regular validation to ensure that they work to the highest possible standards and remain up to date with current practice.
Here at North Downs Hospital we aim to improve your pain and discomfort. Our specialists are on hand to answer any questions or queries you may have regarding the diagnostic and treatment process.