Conditions We Treat
Doctors in the Department of Urology provide comprehensive care for a wide range of urologic conditions in patients young and old.
Our physicians offer a comprehensive array of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and consultation to treat these conditions and more. Click each panel below to view details.
This involves removing the penile foreskin by performing a circumcision. This is commonly done for several conditions: Patient requests circumcision, difficult hygiene, phimosis (narrowing of the foreskin opening), balanitis (inflammation or infection of the foreskin),or skin cancers of the foreskin. The treatment is surgery.
Bladder cancer most commonly occurs in the lining of the bladder, the organ that stores urine. Symptoms include blood in the urine (hematuria), pain upon urination and frequent urges to urinate. Older white males, in addition to those who smoke, are at a higher risk for bladder cancer. Treatments range from surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and biologic therapies.
BPH (ENLARGED PROSTATE)
As a man ages, it is common for the prostate to enlarge. In fact, more than half of men in their 60s have symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The condition causes the prostate gland to press on the urethra, which causes more frequent urination and a weak urine stream.
Treatment is dependent on the severity of BPH, but can include prescription drugs, minimally invasive treatments, or surgery.
Erectile dysfunction is the persistent inability to maintain an erection to perform sexual intercourse. The ability to maintain an erection depends on the interaction of the nervous system, hormones and the blood vessels. ED may occur because of issues in one or more of these systems. There are numerous treatments, including medication, medical devices and surgical solutions.
FEMALE PELVIC MEDICINE AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY
Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) is a specialized field treating pelvic floor disorders. FPMRS specialists diagnose and treat conditions such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, fecal incontinence, and pelvic pain. Treatment options include both surgical and non-surgical approaches. This may include conservative management such as pelvic floor physical therapy, behavioral modifications, and medication, as well as surgical interventions ranging from minimally invasive procedures to complex reconstructive surgeries. FPMRS is a rapidly evolving field with a focus on evidence-based practices to improve people's quality of life.
Hematuria occurs when red blood cells are present in the urine. It can be visible to the naked eye or viewed under a microscope. Often, hematuria resolves over time, but people with the condition should consult their doctor because it can be a sign of a more serious condition.
Treatment for hematuria varies, so generally, patients need a series of tests, including urinalysis, kidney imaging or other tests to find the cause and treat the condition.
This painful condition is caused by inflammation of the bladder wall, and it mimics the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Women are most commonly affected by interstitial cystitis (IC), and the condition is diagnosed by ruling out other urologic diseases.
Currently, there is no standard treatment for IC. Some patients are treated with medication, while other treatments include diet modification, various bladder procedures and physical therapy.
There are several types of kidney cancer, the most common of which is renal cell carcinoma. Renal cell carcinoma occurs when cancer cells grow on the lining of tiny tubes in the kidneys, called tubules.
In its early stages, patients often do not experience symptoms. As the cancer grows, patients may experience blood in the urine (hematuria), back pain, fatigue and weight loss.
Depending on the stage and severity of the cancer, treatments include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and biologic therapy.
An enhanced kidney stone program at the University of Minnesota Medical Center is offering more comprehensive, streamlined care for patients. Our unique care model puts all aspects of kidney stone care in one convenient location where patients can see urologists, nephrologists and dietitians during one appointment. For patients who are passing or who have passed kidney stones, the program offers follow-up care to assess the damage and develop a prevention plan for the future. Some treatment options for patients include state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgery, comprehensive metabolic evaluation and dietary counseling.
Kidney stones are pebble-like stones made of salts and minerals such as calcium that builds up in the kidneys as blood is filtered. Most people don’t know they have a kidney stone until severe back and abdominal pain sets in, signaling that the kidney stone is making its way into the ureters toward the bladder.
There are various treatments for this condition, depending on the size of the stone and the frequency of diagnosis.
Male infertility has a variety of causes, including physical, hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors. Men who believe they made have infertility should contact a urologist who can perform various tests to find the cause and develop a treatment plan.
Generally speaking, couples are identified as having a fertility problem if they have tried for at least one year to get pregnant. Treatment options are wide-ranging. Everything from weight and stress management to surgery can help couples conceive.
MALE SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION
Refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the man or couple from experiencing satisfaction from the activity. The sexual response cycle has four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.
Treatment: Medications, behavioral therapy, education, sometimes surgeries to help restore/improve men's sexual functioning.
Symptoms: erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, lack of ejaculation, change in libido, penile curvature, etc.
This urinary problem occurs when the bladder does not empty fully because of a neurologic condition. Nerves send messages to muscles that control bladder voiding, but if these nerves are damaged, the bladder can’t empty properly.
Some common neurologic disorders that can cause neurogenic bladder include Alzheimer’s disease, brain or spinal cord tumors, Parkinson disease and diabetic neuropathy. There are a variety of treatments for this condition, ranging from medication to exercise to surgery.
Penile Prosthesis: A treatment option for men with erectile dysfunction. A penile implant is usually used when there is a clear medical cause for ED and when the problem is unlikely to resolve or improve naturally or with other medical treatments.
Treatment: Surgical implantation of an internally-placed mechanical device to provide men with an erection.
Symptoms: Erectile dysfunction that is refractory to more simple therapies.
POLYCYSTIC KIDNEY DISEASE
A group of inherited diseases, polycystic kidney disease involves cyst formation in both kidneys. The disease usually affects adults, but there is also a pediatric form of the disease.
Symptoms include pain in the back and side, blood in the urine, headaches and urinary tract infections. Over the course of the disease, cysts develop in the kidney, replacing the normal renal tissue.
Patients with PKD often have high blood pressure and eventually progress into renal failure, requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancers for men, often diagnosed in men older than 75. At the Institute for Prostate and Urologic Cancers, a team of specialists in urologic surgery, medical oncology, and radiation therapy work together to bring the best possible resources and care to men with prostate cancer.
The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test is the most often used test in prostate cancer screening, but to confirm the disease, a biopsy is necessary. The biopsy sample is graded using the Gleason grading system, developed by the late Donald Gleason, M.D., Ph.D., who taught at the U of M.
Treatment varies, depending on the type and stage of the cancer and the patient’s risk factors, but can include medications, radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.
Examples of conditions in the scrotum that could require surgery include testis cancer, pain or cysts in the epididymis, hydrocele, spermatocele, varicocele.
Treatment: Various surgical procedures of the scrotum can be performed.
Symptoms: Examples of conditions in the scrotum that could require surgery include testis cancer, pain or cysts in the epididymis, hydrocele, spermatocele, varicocele.
Testicular cancer is a relatively rare cancer that mainly affects younger white men, though incidence is increasing in black men.
Most men notice the symptoms of testicular cancer themselves. These symptoms include swelling in a testicle, sometimes painful, sometimes painless, and fluid buildup in the scrotum.
Doctors diagnose the cancer through blood tests, ultrasound and biopsy, and treatments can include chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery.
Loss of bladder control – from mild leaking to uncontrolled wetting -- is called urinary incontinence. There are two types: stress incontinence, which occurs when bladder muscles are too weak, and urge incontinence, which occurs when bladder muscles are too active.
Many people experience periods of incontinence which can be caused by temporary problems such as urinary tract infections, but for incontinence issues last for a longer time period, it is best to contact the Urology Clinic.
Treatment varies depending on the severity of the problem and your lifestyle.
URINARY TRACT INFECTION
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when a bacterial infection takes hold somewhere in the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, kidneys, ureters and urethra. Most peoples’ immune systems take care of UTIs, but at times UTI requires more treatment.
Some groups of people, including women, those with diabetes, men with enlarged prostates and those who are immobile are at higher risk. Symptoms include cloudy or bloody urine, pain on urination and frequent urination.
Treatment depends on severity. Usually, antibiotics clear UTIs, but certain patients may require hospitalization to clear the infection.
Ureteral cancer, also known as transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter, is a rare cancer that grows in the cells lining the renal pelvis and ureters.
Symptoms include blood in the urine (hematuria) and back pain, but since these symptoms are common, your urologist will perform various tests to make an accurate diagnosis.
Standard treatment is surgery, and research is underway to study other treatment options, including laser surgery and regional chemotherapy and biologic therapy.
URETERAL PELVIC JUNCTION OBSTRUCTION
Ureteral Pelvic Junction (UPJ) Obstruction is a blockage between the renal pelvis (in the kidney) to the ureters, the tubes that move urine out of the body. It occurs most often during fetal development and can lead to urine build-up, which is damaging to the kidneys. It also can occur in older children or adults due to scar tissue in this area of the body.
UPJ Obstruction is often diagnosed during an ultrasound. Treatment varies with severity, and it may require surgery either during infancy or later in childhood. Urologic surgeons have several options in terms of procedures to correct the problem, including minimally invasive surgery.
Urethral strictures are a narrowing of the ureters, the tube that allows urine to leave the body. It most often occurs when the urethra is damaged or scarred, and it can lead to serious problems if the urine flow is blocked completely.
Symptoms are similar to BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) and include a narrow urine stream, straining to urinate and frequent urination.
Consult with your urologist to discuss the best treatment options, which vary depending on the severity of the stricture.
VASECTOMY & VASECTOMY REVERSAL
A vasectomy is a form of male birth control that cuts the supply of sperm to your semen. It's done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm. Vasectomy is straightforward and has a low risk of problems.
Treatment: Office procedure to interrupt flow of sperm into the ejaculate.
Vasectomy Reversal: Microsurgical procedure in the operating room to reconnect the sperm ducts after previous vasectomy procedure.
Symptoms: patient requests vasectomy or reversal of vasectomy sterilization.