PITTSBURGH, June 6, 1997 — Many men will be able to improve their quality of life and reduce health risks after prostate diseases or traumatic spinal cord injury thanks to a surgical device the FDA has approved, in part as a result of research by Michael B. Chancellor, M.D., associate professor of urologic surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).
Damage to the nerve controlling the sphincter at the end of the bladder forces patients to make difficult choices to find a method to voice urine. For the luckier men their option carries a strong likelihood of urinary tract infection.
"The device approved by the FDA is a thin mesh tube, a stent, placed at the end of the bladder to prevent the valve-like sphincter from remaining continually closed. Normally the sphincter is closed until nerve impulses tell the sphincter muscle to open," says Dr. Chancellor, whose Sept. 1994 paper in the Journal of Urology reported successful results in the North American multi-center trial of this treatment method.
The stent is implanted in a 15-minute outpatient endoscopic procedure that "restores fluid flow, and also reduces hospital stays, reduces risk of infection, eliminates bleeding and eliminates associated impotence," he adds.
Each year, 200,000 men undergo treatments for prostate diseases, including enlarged prostate and to correct obstruction due to prostate surgery. Dr. Chancellor estimates that as many as 20,000 men each year may find the stent to be the treatment of choice.
In addition, the approximately 8,500 men who suffer traumatic spinal cord injury (5,800 of whom are quadriplegic) also have the advantage that this procedure is reversible, should their nerve function recover or be restored.
Dr. Chancellor's clinical and research interests include neuro-urology, urinary incontinence and reconstructive restorative surgery. He received his MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1983, and completed a urology residency at the University of Michigan in 1988 and a neuro-neurology and a female urology fellowship at Columbia University in 1990. Dr. Chancellor was an associate professor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia before joining the UPMC in 1996.