At Georgia Urology, our physicians are recognized leaders in the treatment of urological cancers. We offer the most advanced, innovative treatments for all types of tumors and malignancies of the genitourinary system including bladder cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and cancer of the adrenal glands, penis, ureters and urethra; some of which are not available anywhere else in the region.
Our physicians are experts at performing minimally invasive procedures and surgeries. Designed to offer effective alternatives to extensive surgery and radiation, these approaches may be able to spare a vital organ such as a kidney or preserves normal bladder or sexual function in certain patients.
We strive to provide the best possible care in a compassionate setting. As the largest urology group in the Southeast, Georgia Urology offers patients easy access to the most highly specialized urologists within our practice. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for each of our patients.
We work closely with medical and radiation oncologists to ensure that our patients have the full benefit of all facets of urological oncology.
Treatment Approaches for Urological Cancers:
Active surveillance or watchful waiting
Robot assisted surgery
Traditional open surgery
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
Georgia Urology offers cryosurgery for treatment of early stage prostate cancer that has not spread outside the gland and certain small kidney tumors. Cryosurgery or cryoablation is the use of extreme cold produced by liquid nitrogen (or argon gas) to destroy abnormal or cancerous tissue.
Performed while the patient is under anesthesia (local or general), doctors insert multiple slender needles or cryoprobes into precise locations either through the skin using ultrasound or laparoscopically. Ultrasound or MRI is used to monitor the freezing of the cells in order to limit damage to nearby healthy tissue. Liquid nitrogen or argon gas is circulated within the probes to freeze the tumor and kill the cancer cells. Thermal sensors track temperatures in and around the area to preserve surrounding tissues. After cryosurgery, the frozen tissue thaws and is naturally absorbed by the body.
Cryosurgery, like any other local therapy for prostate cancer, can cause sides effects but they occur more often in men who have had radiation to the prostate. Incontinence (lack of urinary control) reported in less than 1% of patients following cryosurgery, is often temporary. Since the nerve bundles that control erections are adjacent to the prostate many men become impotent (loss of sexual function) if the entire gland is frozen. However, qualified patients may be candidates for potency-sparing cryosurgery.
Using cryosurgery for kidney tumors is safer than laparoscopic partial nephrectomy and has less risk of losing the entire kidney.
Cryosurgery is less invasive than surgery, consequently, pain, bleeding, and other complications of surgery are minimized. Cryosurgery is less expensive than other treatments and requires shorter recovery time and a shorter hospital stay, or no hospital stay at all. Cryosurgery can be repeated, and it can be used to treat patients who cannot have surgery or radiation therapy because of their age or other medical problems.
Brachytherapy is an advanced cancer treatment in which radioactive seeds or sources are placed in or near the tumor itself, giving a high radiation dose to the tumor while reducing the radiation exposure in the surrounding healthy tissues. The physicians at Georgia Urology work closely with radiation oncologists to ensure that our patients have the full benefit of all facets of urological oncology
Other Alternative Ablative Therapies:
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
HIFU, a new ablative (removal or destruction of tissue) treatment first developed for the treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH, uses sound waves, or ultrasound energy to heat up cancerous prostate tissue at a focal point and destroy the cells.
HIFU is a non-invasive therapy, generally performed as an outpatient procedure under regional or general anesthesia used to treat early stage, localized prostate cancer. It is radiation free and because the focal point is 3mm. wide, does not cause harm to surrounding tissue. It is also used in local failures following radiation, surgery and cryotherapy.
A rectal probe emits a beam of high intensity focused ultrasound energy that raises the temperature to 80-100 degrees Celsius and destroys the targeted cancer cells. Also as with cryosurgery, HIFU can be repeated, without any increase in risk or complications. Finally, if necessary, other treatment therapies such as radical prostatectomy can be performed after HIFU.
HIFU is not approved for use in the United States but currently undergoing clinical trials for FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval in the US. (HIFU is approved in Canada, Europe, China, Japan, Caribbean, Mexico, and Latin America). Until that time, Dr. Vahan Kassabian, M.D. of Georgia Urology, who is fellowship trained in urologic oncology and dually licensed in the U.S. and Canada, travels abroad with patients to perform this procedure.
To learn more about HIFU please visit: www.georgiahifucenter.com