Reconstructive surgery restores function to parts of your body that may have been affected by medical conditions, trauma or birth defects. In some cases, it can also restore a functional appearance, similar to cosmetic surgery. Unlike cosmetic surgery, however, reconstructive surgery does not change the appearance of normal anatomy, and most physicians and insurance plans consider it medically necessary. Reconstructive surgery may also be used for gender-confirming procedures in transgender patients.
In urology, reconstructive surgery can be used to treat issues affecting the kidneys, bladder and urinary tract. In some cases, it can also be used to treat problems with reproductive organs.
Our providers are capable of performing several reconstructive surgical procedures or using reconstructive surgery to treat urological conditions. These include:
- Treatment of bladder and urinary tract fistulas — Fistulas are connections between two different parts of the body, often caused by injury, infection or inflammation. Bladder fistulas are openings between the bladder and other surrounding organs, such as the bowel or the vagina, and they are corrected with surgery to remove the damaged parts of the bladder.
- Treatment of buried penis — Buried penis is a condition in which the penis is partially or entirely obscured by surrounding tissues. The most common cause of this condition is obesity, but other conditions, such as lymphedema or circumcision complications, can also lead to the condition. Surgeons can use reconstructive surgery to correct the problems leading to buried penis, and also restore the penis to a normal appearance and function.
- Treatment of urethral strictures — Urethral stricture is the narrowing of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of your body. It can be caused by infection, injury, or swelling or scar tissue after a surgery. If urinary diversions (see below) do not treat your condition, your provider may recommend surgery. Depending on the length and location of the stricture, your surgeon may be able to cut or dilate the urethra, or you may require an open urethroplasty. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the damaged parts of the urethra and then rebuilds it.
- Urinary diversion —This procedure allows urine to leave your body when the normal pathway is blocked, or if a disease within the urinary tract needs to be bypassed. This prevents urine from building up in your bladder, kidneys or uterus. These procedures can be used to treat [kidney stones], [urinary incontinence] and several other conditions. There are many types of urinary diversion surgeries, and your surgeon will make a recommendation based on the type and severity of your condition.
What to Expect From Reconstructive Surgery
The diversity of reconstructive procedures means there is no one way to prepare for surgery. Some surgeries may require little to no preparation, while others may require several days. Depending on your procedure, your provider will tell you how to prepare appropriately. Most procedures will be performed under general anesthesia, although some may be performed using regional or local anesthesia. After your surgery, your provider will give your further instructions for aftercare and recovery.
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For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact one of our convenient South Sound locations or find a provider near you.
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