Genitourinary reconstruction can repair damaged organs.
Several organs and related tissues make up the human genitourinary network. This is actually a medical name for the genitals and the urinary tract organs, and they include the kidneys, ureter, bladder, and urethra.
- In women, the reproductive organs include the ovaries, uterus, and vagina.
- In men, the reproductive organs include the testicles and scrotum, prostate gland, and penis.
The Need for Genitourinary Reconstruction
All of these organs may be damaged by disease, infections, and physical traumas. Such injuries may sometimes be so severe that they require special reconstructive procedures.
Several kinds of physical trauma can produce ruptures, tears, obstructions, and disruptions of the organs of the genitourinary system. These may include blunt force and penetrating injuries.
Blunt force injuries are caused by impacts between the human body and blunt objects. Examples of blunt force strikes are heavy falls, car accidents, and sports impacts. When the tender internal members of the genitourinary system come under assault, contusions, ruptures, and tears can be the unfortunate results.
Understanding Genitourinary Injuries
Injuries to the organs that make up the reproductive and urinary tract can manifest in several ways that depend on the specific cause.
For example, contusions are often the least damaging kinds of physical trauma. These may be caused by sharp impacts to the lower abdomen, and the result of such blows can be internal bleeding in organs like the urinary bladder. Bleeding in the bladder, kidneys, or other parts of the urinary tract often cause bloody, discolored urine.
Other, more serious traumas can cause equally serious injuries. An example of this is the condition known as a ureter disruption. The ureters are tubes that ferry urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder for disposal. These tubes are relatively soft, and serious impacts like those delivered by steering wheels during auto accidents can completely sever ureters, causing pain, bleeding, and possible infection in the process.
Diagnosing These Injuries
Since genitourinary injuries vary widely in severity, it’s important for urologists and other doctors to accurately diagnose patients who exhibit symptoms of urogenital injuries.
To do so, physicians use a number of diagnostic tools. These include:
- Abdominal computed tomography scans (CT)
- Blood tests
- Patient medical histories
- Retrograde cystography
Genitourinary Reconstruction Options
If doctors discover serious injuries to the urogenital systems, they take immediate steps to stabilize patients with short-term injury management techniques.
After any initial danger is averted, physicians then craft long-term treatment plans. Depending on the cause, location, and severity of injuries, these treatments may include bed-rest, medications, and reconstructive surgeries that restore structure and function to damaged members.
Some common reconstructive surgeries include:
- Cystectomies: These procedures remove diseased or severely damaged urinary bladders.
- Dilations: These often-simple operations use fine wires to open constricted ureters.
- Nephrectomies: If the kidneys are seriously damaged by physical trauma or infections, nephrectomies can partially or fully remove troubled kidney tissues.
- Urethroplasties: These treatments correct issues with the urethra. Common interventions include tissue grafts and reconstructions that serve to properly channel urine flows.
- Stent Implantations: Stents are special tube-like devices that doctors place inside of damaged fluid-carrying vessels. Physicians use them extensively in genitourinary areas like ureters, urethras, and blood vessels.