Hackensack University Medical Center Urology Team Performs Robotic “Orphan Surgeries” with Outstanding Outcomes

New Jersey’s Top-Ranked Hospital and #1 Urology Program Is Destination for Patients with Complex Urological Conditions

Patients from across the nation and the world who’ve been told there are no options for their complex-yet-uncommon urological conditions are finding life-changing outcomes at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Under the leadership of Michael D. Stifelman, M.D., Department Chair Urology, Hackensack University Medical Center, Director Urologic Oncology, John Theurer Cancer Center, and Director Robotic Surgery, Hackensack Meridian Health, the Department of Urology has become a destination for people seeking one-of-a-kind “orphan surgeries.”

Case 1: A minimally invasive robot-assisted renal vein transposition on a 19-year-old male who was diagnosed with nutcracker syndrome, a rare urologic disease that causes compression of the left renal vein, causing backflow of blood into the left kidney. The patient experienced flank/low back pain, blood in urine, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss that worsened with eating and exercise.

This complex surgery was performed utilizing a robotic minimally invasive procedure to make five small quarter-inch incisions placed at the patient’s pant line. The patient was discharged in two days and avoided having a large midline incision. Six weeks after surgery, the young man has resumed normal activities and returned to exercising, full-time work and school with no more debilitating pain or blood in the urine.

Case 2: Another patient traveled from Chicago to HUMC for a “Boari flap,” a surgical procedure in which the ureter is reconstructed by mobilizing the bladder and crafting a new ureter to bridge the diseased ureter. The 67-year-old female patient had a left ureteral stricture, caused by a previous surgery, that had been managed with stent exchanges every 3 months for 4 years and was told no other options were available. The “Boari flap” procedure at HUMC allowed her to return to normal activities without a stent or the side effects and complications that came with constant stent exchange.

The urological surgeons at Hackensack University Medical Center offer hope for patients with complex urological “orphan” conditions.

“Our team can perform robotic surgical procedures that other surgeons can’t,” said Dr. Stifelman. “For patients who’ve been told that there are no other options, we are proud to offer creative surgical solutions leveraging our multidisciplinary team and advanced robotic surgical skills.”

Learn More about other advancements and clinical innovations.

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