Ryan Cleary, MD, Urologist, with the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System
Our urologic oncology team offers a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of both cancerous (malignant) and non-cancerous (benign) conditions of the prostate, bladder, kidneys, and testicles. The treatment plan developed for each individual patient depends on the type of stage of cancer determined at the time of diagnosis, and may include a recommendation to undergo surgery.
Our urologic doctors in Baltimore are leading experts in treating patients with all types of urologic cancers. Our surgeons specialize in using advanced technologies and procedures including robotic, laparoscopic, and open surgery, ensuring that maximum functionality is restored to affected organs after treatment. Robotic surgery is performed by our urologic experts to treat both men and women who suffer from urologic cancers, kidney disorders, and who may require urinary tract reconstruction.
Urologic Robotic Surgery
Robotic technology allows our urologic surgeon to operate with extreme precision. Areas of the body that may difficult or even impossible to reach with the human hand are now accessible with use of the robotic system; its “arms” can rotate up to 280 degrees. All of this translates to a better experience, as well as outcomes, for you, as the patient.
Urologic cancers are defined as cancer involving any of the following organs:
Your treatment will depend on the type of urologic cancer you have and the stage at diagnosis. Our patients have access to a wide range of services including screening exams, second opinions, transrectal ultrasound and biopsy, diagnostic imaging, and targeted, advanced treatments from surgery to radiation therapy.
Doug Wenrich - Patient Perspective on Robotic Surgery
Prostate Cancer Patient Affirms the Benefits of Robotic Surgery
Doug Wenrich was just 54 years old when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. With guidance from urologic oncology expert Ryan Cleary, MD, it became quickly clear that undergoing surgery was his best course of action, rather than a series of radiation treatments over a two-year period.
With a goal to eliminate the cancer and move on with his life as quickly as possible, Doug and Dr. Cleary spoke at length about robotic surgery, and the many benefits associated with it – from less pain to a shorter hospital stay, and the likeliness that Doug would be able to return to work and his everyday lifestyle, much quicker than would be the case if a more traditional, “open” surgery was performed. Simply put, the newer, state-of-the-art way of removing his prostate, made sense.
True to Dr. Cleary’s word, Doug was up and walking five hours after surgery and was discharged from the hospital the following day. The pain he experienced was much less than expected; in fact, he never took the pain medicine that was prescribed to be used on an as-needed basis.
Today, Doug is back to work as a sales representative, and most importantly, once again enjoying his true life passions--camping and boating. He and his wife Vivian enjoy taking their motorhome to destinations across Maryland, such as Rockhall and Williamsport, as well as Raystown Lake and Mountain Creek in Pennsylvania.
“My scars remind me of what I’ve been through, but they are small, and they are fading,” Doug notes. “But I am not living in fear anymore. Life can be short, so my focus is on enjoying mine.”
The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis with flexible, muscular walls. Its main function is to store urine before it leaves the body. Urine is made by the kidneys and is then carried to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer among men and is linked strongly to smoking and eighth most common female cancer.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
- Blood in urine (hematuria) — urine may appear dark yellow, bright red or cola colored
- Urine may appear normal, but blood may be detected in a microscopic examination
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Back pain
- Pelvic pain
Bladder Cancer Risks
- Older than age 40
- Being male
- Exposure to chemicals
- Chronic bladder inflammation
- Taking diabetes medication pioglitazone (Actos) for more than a year
- Personal or family history of bladder cancer
- Prior cancer with the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
Bladder Cancer Treatment
- Bladder preservation with Chemotherapy and Radiation
- Immunotherapy a form of the tuberculosis vaccine known as BCG is instilled in the bladder to treat or prevent recurrences. Learn more about immunotherapy.
- Robotic Cystectomy is the partial or full removal of the bladder with continent urinary diversion. Robotic cystectomy is a minimally invasive surgical method offering patients a more effective surgery and less problematic post-surgical recovery.
- Cystoscopy involves the insertion of a cystoscope (a small optic instrument or thin tube with a lighted tip) into the urethra and bladder, allowing the urologist to examine the urethra and bladder wall for lesions.
- Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview® improves the traditional white light cystoscopy allowing the urologist to visualize more cancer tumors easier within the bladder.
Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They're located behind your abdominal organs, with one kidney on each side of your spine. The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma.
Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. Most people with kidney cancer are older when diagnosed with the average age at diagnosis being 64. It’s very uncommon in people younger than age 45.
Kidney Cancer Symptoms
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Lower back pain on one side (not caused by injury)
- Lump on the side or lower back
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss not caused by dieting
- Persistent fever that is not caused by an infection
Kidney Cancer Risks
- Being older, your risk of kidney cancer increases as you age
- High blood pressure
- Treatment for kidney failure
- Von Hippel-Lindau disease
- Hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma
Kidney Cancer Treatment
- Open radical surgery
- Robotic surgery including partial nephrectomy for preservation of the kidney (open, laparoscopic, or robotic surgery)
- Percutaneous Cryosurgery uses extremely cold temperatures to freeze and destroy tumor cells.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. According to the American Cancer Society, 17 out 100 men (17 percent) age 50 and older will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during their life. Located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder, the prostate is a male reproductive gland about the size and shape of a walnut. Like all cancers, prostate cancer occurs when normal prostate cells become malignant and start to grow uncontrollably.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
- Difficulty urinating
- An increase in frequency of urination, especially at night
- Blood in your urine
- Difficulty having or maintaining an erection
- Pain in your pelvic area
Prostate Cancer Risks
- Older Men: As men age, their risk for prostate cancer increases. The chance of developing prostate cancer goes up significantly after age 50. Two-thirds (66 percent) of prostate cancer occur in men 65 and older.
- Family History: Men with a father or brother who has or had prostate cancer are at an increased risk for the disease. This is especially true if the family member developed prostate cancer before age 65.
- Race: While the reasons behind it are still unknown, African-American men are at an increased risk for prostate cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control, African American men have about a 19 percent chance (1 in 5) of receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis.
- Diet: Men who eat a lot of fat (five or more servings per day of meat, dairy, eggs and butter) in their diet have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer. Men with a high-fat diet also tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables and more dairy products (These other factors may be responsible for increased risk rather than the amount of fat itself).
Prostate Cancer Treatment
- Robotic prostatectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove your entire prostate.
- Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
- Radiation therapy
- Make Sexual Health quality of life related to ED
Testicular cancer is the most common in young men ages 15 to 44. It is highly treatable and usually curable. It typically develops in one or both testicles in young men, although it can occur at any age.
Testicular Cancer Symptoms
Some cases of testicular cancer have no symptoms. If there are symptoms, they may include:
- Discomfort or pain in the testicle, or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- Pain in the back or lower abdomen
- Enlarged testicle or a change in the way it feels
- Excess amount of breast tissue (gynecomastia), however this can occur normally in adolescent boys who do not have testicular cancer
- Lump or swelling in either testicle
If the cancer has spread (metastasized) beyond the testicles, it can infiltrate your abdomen, pelvis, back, lungs or brain.
Testicular Cancer Risks
Some of the main factors that may increase your risk of testicular cancer include:
- An undescended testicle: The testes form in the abdominal area during fetal development and usually descend into the scrotum before birth. Men who have a testicle that never descended are at greater risk of testicular cancer in either testicle than are men whose testicles descended normally. The risk remains elevated even if the testicle has been surgically relocated to the scrotum. Still, the majority of men who develop testicular cancer don't have a history of undescended testicles.
- Abnormal testicle development: Conditions that cause testicles to develop abnormally, such as Klinefelter's syndrome, may increase your risk of testicular cancer.
- Family history: If family members have had testicular cancer, you may have an increased risk.
- Age: Testicular cancer affects teens and younger men, particularly those between ages 15 and 35. However, it can occur at any age.
- Race: Testicular cancer is more common in white men than in black men.
For a physician referral, please call (410) 391-6131.
For more information about our clinical trials, please call 443-777-7364.
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237