The Bladder

Contact us

What is Urology?

Urology refers to a specialist field within medicine and surgery focused on the urinary tract of males, females and children as well as the male reproductive organs. Medical professionals and surgeons like Dr Lance Coetzee are trained to diagnose, treat and manage patients with urologic diseases.

Urology focuses on the urinary tract and male reproductive organs.

Urologists focus on organs like the:

  • Adrenal glands
  • Ureters (two thin tubes of muscle connecting the kidneys to the bladder)
  • Urethra (a tube that allows urine to pass from the bladder out of the body)
  • The kidneys
  • Urinary bladder
  • Male reproductive organs (consisting of the testes, epididynus, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate & penis)
How can we help you?

If you feel that there is anything you would like to discuss, or if you would like to book a consultation with Dr Coetzee, please get in touch with us.

Contact us

What is the function of the bladder?

The bladder stores urine until it is filled to capacity, where after the urine is expelled from the body through the urethra.

When your bladder is not functioning properly, you may experience some of the symptoms below.

Common symptoms of bladder disorders include:

  • the presence of blood in the urine. This is the most common symptom of bladder cancer, with 80% of people diagnosed with bladder cancer reporting to have had some blood in their urine.
  • a need to pass urine very often.
  • a need to pass urine very suddenly.
  • pain when passing urine.

While these symptoms can possibly indicate a urine infection – particularly if you do not have blood in your urine – it could also be attributed to an enlarged prostate gland in men.  It is therefore best to consult a specialist like Dr Lance Coetzee immediately if you have any of these symptoms.

The bladder disorders we treat

Bladder cancer

Cancer is the growth of abnormal, extra cells in the body which grow together to form tumours. In a patient suffering from bladder cancer, tumours form in the bladder. Cancers of the bladder are usually diagnosed by examining urine for cancer cells under a microscope (known as urine cytology) or during a cystoscopy, an inspection of the bladder by inserting a slender tube equipped with a lens and a light through the urethra up to the bladder.

Bladder treatment procedures

Bladder cancer can be treated by surgically removing part of (partial cystectomy) or the entire (radical cystectomy) urinary bladder.

Partial cystectomy

A partial cystectomy, which makes it possible to treat bladder cancer by only removing part of the bladder, is performed in cases where the cancer has invaded the muscle layer of the bladder wall and is confined to one region of the bladder only. During this procedure, nearby lymph nodes are also removed and examined for cancer.

Radical cystectomy

A radical cystectomy involves the removal of the entire bladder. This surgical procedure is performed in instances where bladder cancer has spread to more than one area within the bladder  and can also include the removal  of surrounding organs like nearby lymph nodes, the prostate (for men), and in women, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and a small part of the vagina. A radical cystectomy is an extensive surgical procedure, but increases the likelihood that all cancer cells are removed from the patient’s body and reduces the likelihood of the disease recurring.

Dr Coetzee offers the following treatment options through robotic surgery:

Robot-assisted cystectomy

A robot-assisted cystectomy allows a surgeon, urologist or oncologist a high-definition 3-D view of the vital muscles and delicate nerve tissues surrounding the bladder and helps the surgeon preserve them and dissect and reconstruct the bladder with relative ease while offering the patient an effective, minimally invasive surgical experience.

Benefits of a Robot-Assisted Cystectomy versus an Open Cystectomy:

  • Precise and rapid bladder removal with minimal blood loss, lowering the patient’s chance of needing a blood transfusion.
  • Enhanced ability to preserve the neurovascular (involving both nerves and blood vessels) bundles, thus protecting erectile function in men as well as sexual function in both men and women.
  • More rapid return of bowel function.
  • Designed to spare delicate nerve and muscle tissue.
  • Keyhole-sized incisions distributed across the abdomen.
  • A brief 4 to 7 day hospital stay.
  • Reduced scarring, minimal discomfort, and less need for major pain medication.
  • One to three months’ period of recovery before regaining a normal level of urine control.