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UH Launches Urology Institute




University Hospitals (UH) has a new model for the delivery of urology services. Structured after UH’s highly successful Heart & Vascular Institute, Neuro Institute, Spine Institute and Eye Institute, the new Urology Institute was officially launched in May.

With six Centers of Excellence, this Institute will more strongly integrate the services of the Department of Urology around patient needs and diagnosis to provide patients with a more comprehensive and personalized approach.

“This is a time of many exciting developments within our organization. The aging of the Baby Boomers and the advancements in medical innovation are bringing about new opportunities to grow and evolve our services for the benefit of those we serve,” says Firouz Daneshgari, MD, who is the Lester Persky Professor and chairman of the Department of Urology at University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University. “The structure of the new UH Urology Institute reflects the needs of our aging population and provides a much more comprehensive and personalized approach to meeting those needs.”

The six Centers of Excellence include Female Pelvic Medicine and Surgery, Pelvic Pain, Robotic & Minimally Invasive Surgery, Genitourinary Cancer, Pediatric Urology, and Men’s Health and Genitourology Stones. Every Center contains clinics for specific patient problems to facilitate patient access. For example, there’s an incontinence clinic in the Female Pelvic Medicine and Surgery Center and a PSA clinic within the Genitourinary Cancer Center. In addition, a Center for Research and Innovation and a Center for Quality and Outcomes have been created to promote the needed infrastructure for integration of new knowledge with patient care.

“Each of these Centers provide a vehicle for greater physician collaboration across multiple specialties, such as oncology, neurology, radiology, gastroenterology and gynecology, aligning our efforts to provide patients with the most state-of-the-art urology services, from the most basic to the most complex,” says Dr. Daneshgari.

The Physicians

Recruited by UH to launch and lead its new Urology Institute, Dr. Daneshgari is a surgeon-scientist whose investigative work has been supported by more than 10 grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other peer-reviewed sources. He has published over 100 articles and book chapters on clinical and research topics related to his specialty, and he has trained more than 30 clinical fellows, post-doctoral fellows, residents and students. Prior to joining UH in May 2009, Dr. Daneshgari served as professor and chairman of the Department of Urology & Female Pelvic Surgery at Upstate Medical University and was director of the Center for Research and Innovation and Center for Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at the Glickman Urological Institute of Cleveland Clinic.

Over the past year, Dr. Daneshgari has been aggressively recruiting physicians to join UH’s new Urology Institute and lead the Centers of Excellence. They include, pediatric urologist Jonathan Ross, female pelvic surgeon Adonis Hijaz, pelvic pain specialist Jeannette Potts, urologic oncologist and robotic surgeon Rabii Madi, urologic oncologist William Larchian, and erectile dysfunction specialist Melvin Lakin. In addition, pediatric urologist Lynn Woo and urologic oncologist Robert Abouassaly joined the Institute this summer.

“Throughout the Centers, teams of highly skilled physicians from multiple specialties and departments meet weekly to discuss specific cases, pose scientific queries and share information on best practices and ongoing or potential research initiatives,” explains Dr. Daneshgari. “The resulting generation of new ideas is powerful, and the potential for more advanced treatment options is great.”

The Center for Female Pelvic Medicine and Surgery led by Dr. Adonis Hijaz brings together urologists, gynecologists, colorectal specialists, physical therapists and psychologists in a single setting to help women navigate through the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic floor disorders, including urinary and fecal incontinence and the prolapse of female pelvic organs. These conditions, which interfere with normal body function, often compromise a woman’s quality of life.

“UH has the only program in Ohio that combines urology and urogynecology, and that’s a significant benefit for our patients, because they receive a much more integrated and highly specialized level of care with more advanced treatment options,” says Dr. Daneshgari. “The high volume of patients we see places our team among the most experienced in the field of pelvic floor issues, whether a patient is being treated for the first time or seeking relief for a recurrent condition.”

The Center for Pelvic Pain, directed by Dr. Jeannette Potts, houses a multidisciplinary team of nationally recognized specialists experienced in the treatment and management of pelvic pain, including interstitial cystitis, chronic prostatitis, chronic testicular pain, post vasectomy pain syndrome, painful ejaculation and post ejaculatory pain, anorectal pain syndromes, painful bladder syndrome, painful intercourse and painful orgasm.

Because patients often suffer from several related conditions, the Center’s team approach is a significant benefit. So, too, is the full scope of diagnostic capabilities and treatment options encompassing everything from physical therapy and counseling to medical management and surgery.

“Our expertise is such that we have established a fellowship dedicated to providing advanced physician training in the area of chronic pelvic pain,” Dr. Daneshgari points out. “Likewise, our physicians are frequently involved in cutting-edge clinical research designed to benefit patients. Dr. Potts, for example, was involved in an NIH multi-center trial that found physical therapy significantly benefits patients with urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome.”

The Center for Robotic & Minimally Invasive Surgery, which is directed by Dr. Rabii Madi, is home to one of the most comprehensive urologic surgery programs in the country and utilizes some of the most advanced technologies including the CyberKnife, which is available in Ohio only at UH, and the daVinci robotic-assisted surgical system.

Surgeries that have been performed with robotic-assistance by UH Urology Institute surgeons include nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy, nephrectomy for removal of cancerous kidneys, nephron-sparing kidney tumor removal, complex urinary tract reconstruction, pyeloplasty, cystecomy, adrenalectomy, hysterectomy, sacrocolpopexy, and sacral uteropexy. They also perform traditional laparoscopies and open surgeries for these conditions.

“Few centers offer the scope of minimally invasive surgical care that we do. Our physicians are among the most experienced and innovative in this burgeoning field, and they consistently achieve excellent clinical outcomes,” says Dr. Daneshgari.

The Center for Genitourinary Cancer reflects the close relationship between the Urology Institute and University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center where innovative, as well as conventional, treatments are available for prostate, kidney, bladder and testicular cancers.

Directed by Dr. Lee Ponsky, the Center delivers state-of-the-art disease management through a multidisciplinary team approach in which urologic oncologists partner with medical oncologists, surgeons and radiation oncologists of the UH Ireland Cancer Center to determine the very best treatment options. Each patient’s care plan receives ongoing review and input by a UH tumor board committee. Through the UH Ireland Cancer Center, patients also have access to essential clinical trials.

The Center for Men’s Health and Genitourology Stones, directed by Dr. Mark Stovsky, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of non-cancerous urinary conditions in men and the diagnosis and treatment of urinary stone disease in both men and women. As part of the UH Urology Institute, this Center offers patients access to some of the most innovative technologies, including state-of-the-art imaging equipment, urodynamic bladder testing technology, and lasers and fiberoptic scopes for minimally invasive procedures to improve clinical outcomes.

“The Center’s medical team has expertise not only as physicians and surgeons, but also as published researchers,” says Dr. Daneshgari. “As a result, the care provided reflects the most current evidence-based practices in medicine, maximizing the potential for high-quality outcomes and offering options not widely available at other medical centers.”

The Center for Pediatric Urology provides a full scope of medical, surgical and behavioral approaches for managing children’s and adolescents’ urological problems, from simple bed-wetting and urinary infections to complex birth defects and abnormalities involving the urinary tract and genitals. Directed by Dr. Jonathan Ross, this Center and its team of board-certified pediatric urologists draw on the expertise of dedicated pediatric specialists in oncology, nephrology, anesthesiology, general surgery and radiology from UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

The Center’s location within the UH Urology Institute gives patients access to the most technologically advanced diagnostic and treatment capabilities. It also provides Dr. Ross and his team with access to adult urology experts who may be consulted to manage conditions seen less frequently in children.

“We have tremendous experience with standard therapies and are actively involved in developing the newest innovative approaches,” says Dr. Daneshgari “We offer the most advanced care for children with urological problems and continue offering accessible, compassionate care as they grow.”

Dr. Daneshgari is admittedly excited about the new Urology Institute, its Centers of Excellence, and especially its staff of medical, surgical and research specialists. All, he says, are committed to providing patients with access to the latest medical advances, improved clinical outcomes and new strategies for disease prevention.

“We’ve grown, and we’ll continue to grow and evolve our services for the benefit of our patients in the region and at a national level,” he says.

The services of the UH Urology Institute are available not only in Cleveland at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, but also throughout Northeast Ohio with offices in Bedford, Chagrin, Conneaut, Elyria, Geauga, Geneva, Landerbrook, Medina, Richmond, Twinsburg, and Westlake.

For more information or to refer a patient for an appointment, please call 1-866-UH-4-CARE (1-866-844-2273) or visit www.uhhospitals.org/uro. To speak with a Urology Institute specialist directly, please call 1-216-844-5661.

MD News October/November 2010, Northeastern Ohio-Western Pennsylvania


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