Reconstructive Fellowship

The University of Minnesota, Department of Urology offers a 1-year GURS clinical fellowship in genitourinary reconstructive surgery. The Urology Reconstructive Fellowship program led by Dr. Sean Elliott was started in 2013.  Since then, the fellowship added Dr. Joe Pariser as an addtional faculty member in 2018.

Our fellowship program emphasizes male urethral reconstruction, male urinary incontinence surgery, ureteral stricture repair, genital reconstruction including skin grafting, gender affirmation surgery and has a major emphasis in complex neurogenic bladder management. Robotic and laparoscopic techniques are used increasingly often.

The fellow has hospital staff privileges and takes call on the same schedule as the faculty (approximately 1 week in 8). He or she has a clinic of his/her own at the University for 0.5 to 1 days a week and at our affiliated Gillette Lifetime Clinic where we care for adults with congenital urologic issues, such as spina bifida and cerebral palsy.  The fellow participates in the operating room with Dr. Elliott or Dr. Pariser at least 3 days per week.  The fellow gains graduated responsibility throughout the year in both the clinic and the operating room.

Duration

The clinical portion of the experience is 12 months in duration. For those with a particular research interest, accommodations can be made for a two-year fellowship that would include a master’s degree in clinical research. The fellow gains graduated responsibility throughout the year in both the Gillette clinic and the operating room.

Curriculum & Research

A structured curriculum, weekly conferences, and close interaction with urology residents is provided.  One day per week is protected as research time.  A research “lab” meeting is held for 1-2 hours each week on the research day where research group members review progress on our outcomes research projects.  The fellow is expected, with the help of residents and our team, to complete multiple research projects in the course of the year.

Funding

Our group is funded by nationally competitive grants and includes PhD health services researchers, biostatisticians and MPH research associates. Dr. Elliott is a founding member of TURNS and NBRG.  Support is provided for travel to the annual meeting of the American Urological Association to present one’s research findings.

Case Mix

After completing a one-year fellowship, the graduate should be proficient in the following: 

  • Clinical management of men and women with neurogenic bladder secondary to spinal cord injury, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, etc.
  • Surgical creation of continent and non-continent diversion and management of complications of such diversion (e.g. Mitrofanoff stenosis or leakage), including laparoscopic and robotic techniques where appropriate.
  • Urethroplasty and rectourinary fistula repair.
  • Male incontinence surgery including slings and artificial sphincters, particularly complex and re-do cases.
  • Ureteral stricture management including reimplantation, buccal ureteroplasty, Boari flap and ileal ureter - using robotic techniques whenever possible.
  • Buried Penis Repair including panniculectomy and skin grafting.
  • Gender Affirmation Surgery including phalloplasty, vaginoplasty, and revisions of both (prosthesis, urethroplasty, robotic peritoneal vaginoplasty).
  • Counseling patients about the risks, benefits and alternatives to reconstructive options.
  • Contributing to the scientific literature through original research, particularly through an advanced understanding of epidemiological methods, biostatistics and database design and management.