Complications From Cancer Treatment or Surgery

Cancer treatment or surgery can result in a range of unforeseen complications, including urinary and bladder problems. Managing these conditions is an important part of your recovery.

At Henry Ford Health, we offer advanced reconstructive surgeries to help restore urinary function and get you back to living your best life.

Urologic reconstruction after cancer: Why choose Henry Ford?

Highlights of the reconstructive urology program at the Henry Ford Vattikuti Urology Institute (VUI) include:

  • Innovative robotic technology: Our team has extensive training in single-port urologic robotic surgery. This minimally invasive approach allows us to treat a range of post-surgical genitourinary complications with less down time and a lower risk of complications.
  • Newest techniques: We have the surgical expertise to treat even the most complex urinary strictures, fistulas and other conditions. Our experts offer procedures that aren’t widely available in Michigan or the nation. So even if you’ve been told you’re out of treatment options, we can help.
  • Team-based approach: Our reconstructive urologic surgeon works with urologic oncologists, gynecologic surgeons, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgeons, colorectal surgeons and other specialists at Henry Ford. This collaboration means you receive seamless care throughout the treatment process.

Treatment for incontinence after prostate surgery and other prostatectomy complications

Incontinence (urine leakage) is a common prostatectomy complication. It can be caused by sphincter removal or bladder neck obstruction.

Artificial urinary sphincter placement

Incontinence after a prostatectomy can happen if the urinary sphincter (muscular valve that helps hold urine in) is weakened due to the surgery. Damage to muscles, blood vessels and nerves near the urinary sphincter can make the problem worse.

At Henry Ford, we offer single-port robotic artificial sphincter placement. Surgeons use a single small incision and the assistance of a robotic arm to place a device inside your body that helps you control your urine output.

Single-port robotic surgery for bladder neck obstructions

Bladder neck obstruction is another possible complication after prostate surgery. Scar tissue can form in the bladder neck, where the surgeon reattaches the urethra to the bladder. Scar tissue can obstruct (block) the bladder outlet.

Bladder neck obstructions can cause urinary retention. This makes it difficult to urinate or completely empty your bladder.

Henry Ford is the first hospital in Michigan, and among the first in the nation, to offer single-port robotic surgery for bladder neck obstructions. This is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional bladder neck reconstruction, which typically requires a catheter or dilation and often results in incontinence. The robotic technique preserves nearby healthy tissue and greatly reduces the risk of post-surgical complications.

Treatment for hysterectomy complications

Urinary problems can develop after treatment for cervical or endometrial cancer. A hysterectomy (complete or partial removal of the uterus or cervix) may result in damage to the urethra or ureters.

Some people also develop fistulas (abnormal openings between two organs) after a hysterectomy. Fistulas can form between the vagina and the bladder, urethra or ureters. Urogenital fistulas can cause urine leakage, frequent infections and other problems.

We offer robotic fistula repair, allowing us to close problematic openings in the pelvic organs without the need for major abdominal surgery.

Treatment for bladder damage

Bladder damage from radiation therapy or surgery is a common problem after cancer treatment. Our team uses a combination of traditional and robotic reconstructive techniques to treat many bladder conditions.

Robotic bladder diverticulectomy

A bladder diverticulum (sac in the bladder that can lead to pain and infections) may develop after bladder surgery or due to scar tissue in the urethra. Our experts perform robotic bladder diverticulectomy to remove the sac and relieve symptoms.

Robotic bladder augmentation

Some cancer treatments reduce the size or elasticity of the bladder, so it can’t hold as much urine. This can cause an overactive bladder, or a frequent urge to urinate. During robotic bladder augmentation, our reconstructive surgeons use part of your intestine to increase the capacity of your bladder.

Care for surgical complications not related to cancer

Surgery not related to cancer, including genital or bowel surgery, can also affect the urinary tract. Our experts can recommend treatments for unsatisfactory results after a vaginoplasty (repair or creation of vagina), vulvoplasty (repair or creation of the vulva) or gender affirmation surgeries.

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