Laparoscopic Nephrectomy by Dr Latayan

PCNL by Dr Latayan

The Urologist and his Craft

​ A urologist is a “physician and surgeon” who is trained in this branch of surgery and is the expert in diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the adrenal glands, kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder in MALES AND FEMALES OF ANY AGE as well as the male reproductive and genital tract ((testes, epididymis, vas deferens,seminal vesicles, prostate and penis)..

To become a urologist, one undergoes a four year training program in an accredited institution after completing at least two years of an accredited general surgery training.  After completing the four years, one may pursue further subspecialty training or may go into private practice.  The Philippine Board of Urology is the body authorized to certify the graduates from each training program.  Three examinations, written, oral and practical have to be passed in order to become a diplomate or a  board certified urologist.

Urology is mainly a surgical specialty and urologic procedures can either be done via the traditional open surgery, endoscopic approach and minimally invasive and laparoscopic urologic surgery which is slowly being the gold standard in most cases.

Although the trend is gearing towards minimally invasive surgery, open surgery still plays an important role in the management of urologic disorders. 

Urologists are also endoscopic surgeons as many urologic procedures are done using  operating telescopes..   A cystoscope is an instrument used to visually examine the urethra and the urinary bladder and there are instrument ports for use of forceps and tubes.  Since the bladder is a part of the urinary tract, cystoscopy is a PURELY UROLOGIC procedure.  Aside from visualization of the urethra and urinary bladder, common procedures done with a cystoscope include insertion of tubes called stents for urinary drainage, resection of the prostate and of bladder tumors, and incision of scar tissues in the urethra.  A ureteroscope is another operating telescope for the visualization of the ureter as well as addressing problems in the ureter such as stones and tumors by using a lithotripter or laser (depending on availability in the institution).

Minimally invasive procedures and laparoscopy also plays an integral role in management of urologic problems.  For kidney stones less than 3 cms, extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) can be offered.  This procedure fragments the kidney stones by means of shockwaves and the patient will pass out the stone fragments through the urine.  For bigger stones, if the intruments are available in the institution, percutaneous nephrostolithotomy (PCNL) can be performed.  This is done by inserting a telescope in the kidney called a nephroscope, then the stone is fragmented using a lithotripter or laser if these are available in the institution. 

Laparoscopic procedures are also performed for urologic conditions. Commonly done laparoscopic urologic procedures include: removal of a cyst in the kidney, removal of a non functioning kidney (nephrectomy), removal of a kidney with a  tumor (radical nephrectomy), removal of a tumors less than 4cm in the kidney (partial nephrectomy), removal of the adrenal gland with a tumor (adrenalectomy), kidney retrieval for transplant (donor nephrectomy), repair of an obstructed part ofthe kidney (pyeloplasty), and prostate cancer surgery (radical prostatectomy).

Although there are many treatment options for urologic conditions, the type of approach still depends on the following factors: 1) availability of instruments and equipment in the institution  2)indications for the surgery, 3) best option for the patient and 4) best treatment success rates and outcomes. 

Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy done by Dr. Latayan

Michael Jonathan Latayan, MD, FPUA, FPCS

Board Certified Urologist practicing in Davao City

Adult and Pediatric Genitourinary Surgery
Renal Transplant (donor)
Urologic Oncology
Laparoscopic and Minimally Invasive Urologic Surgery