URINARY SYSTEM: FACTS, FUNCTIONS & DISEASES

The Urinary System plays a very important role in the human body. It produces Urine, a waste fluid excreted by Kidneys, which it stores, and later, passes it out of the body. Urinary System works closely with the Lungs, the Skin, and Intestines to maintain the balance of chemicals in our body. Adults excretes about 1.42 liters of water per day while children would excrete lesser amount, which depends on the amount of fluid consumed by them. If a person is under medication, the amount of Urine excreted would differ.

THE PROCESS OF URINATION

Kidneys are the primary organs of the Urinary System. Blood passes through Kidney, where the proteins are broken down and Urea is separated through Nephrons, the filtering units. Each Nephron has a ball of blood capillaries called Glomerulus and a tube called the Renal Tube. Urea, along with water, and other waste particles, passes through Nephrons and the Renal Tubes, and then out of the Kidneys through two thin tubes called Ureters which are about 8-10 inches long.
This is not one-time process but, Urine is emptied in the bladder, every 10-15 seconds. Urinary Bladder is a hollow organ like a balloon. It stores Urine till it reaches its capacity that is 16 ounces. The body takes 2-5 hours to produce that much of Urine. A tube which allows Urine to pass out of the body is called Urethra.
The only difference in Male Urinary System and a Female Urinary System is the length of Urethra. Females have 1.5 inches long Urethra and Male have 8 inches long Urethra.

SIGNALS FOR URINATION

Nerves in the Bladder are responsible for sending signal to the brain to cause Urinating sensation. When Bladder reaches the maximum storage limit, Nerves emits signals that are captured by the Brain.
Brain encrypts the message that the Bladder is full and the urge to empty it intensifies. Urinating causes relaxation in muscles that tightens while emitting signals.

COMMON DISEASE IN URINARY SYSTEM

If at any point of time, during the entire process, Urine is forced back into the Kidneys, the Urine can cause a Kidney Infection. Or, when bacteria enters a Urinary Tract, it can affect the Urethra, the Kidneys, or even the Bladder causing Urine Infection. This condition is known as a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Such type of infection is more common in Females but can also occur in Males. Infections, including yeasts, would cause disorders in body’s reproductive Organs. While Urologists’ treat the Male Reproductive Organs, Gynecologists’ treat the Female Reproductive Organs. One of the ways to treat the infection is to use Antibiotics. But please consult your Doctor before resorting to any medication.

TYPES OF URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS, KIDNEY DISEASES, AND FAILURE

INTERNAL CYSTITIS (IC) – This is a painful chronic Bladder syndrome, wherein the Bladder loses its elasticity. It results in the Bladder being unable to hold adequate Urine.
PROSTATITIS – This infection occurs from the swelling of prostate gland and can cause urgency in Urination. Person suffering from this infection urinates more frequently compared to others along with strong pain during Urination and pain in the Pelvic Regions. It occurs only in Males as Female Reproductive System does not consist Prostrate Glands. Severity of the disease is Prostate Cancer.
KIDNEY STONES – Sometimes consuming something adulterated causes clumps of Calcium Oxalate to form in the Urinary tract, popularly known as Kidney Stones. They causes pain in the back and sides. It can even cause hematuria, resulting in blood in urine.
KIDNEY FAILURE – Medically known as Renal Failure, it is a chronic condition wherein Kidneys are unable to filter the waste from blood. It may be caused by trauma or damage to Kidneys. Renal diseases may lead to Chronic Kidney disorders and might require dialysis or even Kidney Transplantation.
BLADDER CANCER – Difficulty in urination or frequent urination are possible symptom of Bladder Cancer. It can be caused by excessive smoking too.
Please note: Before you react to any uneasiness in your body, do always consult your Doctor for a proper diagnosis.
RENAL CELL CARCINOMA – RCC is a type of Kidney Cancer which might be caused by excessive smoking, hypertension or obesity.
URINARY INCONTINENCE – excessive stress in females can cause the problem of Urine leakage, also known as Urinary Incontinence, and it has a profound impact on quality of life.

Robotic Cystectomy for Bladder Cancer Treatment

For most bladder cancers, surgery is a big part of the treatment. Depending on the stage of the cancer, the type of surgery required depends upon the stage of cancer. When the bladder cancer has progressed to an advanced stage, a part of or the complete bladder may need to be removed. This type of surgery is known as Cystectomy.


Bladder-Cancer-Stages

Types of Cystectomy

Following are the main types of Cystectomy procedures:

1. Partial Cystectomy: This type of procedure can be done for those cases in which the cancer is not very large and present only in a single site. In such a case, just the cancerous portion along with a small part of the bladder can be removed instead of the whole bladder.

As a result, the patient can keep his bladder and doesn’t require any reconstructive surgery. Though, due to the removal of bladder portion, the amount of urine it can hold is less, leading to the issue of frequent urination. An important point to note about partial cystectomy is that there are chances of the cancer developing in another part of the bladder wall.

2. Radical Cystectomy: When the cancer is large or has spread to more than one parts of the bladder, radical cystectomy operation is required. In this, the entire bladder and nearby lymph nodes are removed. Additionally, the prostate and seminal vesicles in men and the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, and a small portion of the vagina in women may also have to be removed.

Both open as well as laparoscopic (keyhole) surgeries can be opted for a cystectomy, however, the advantages of laparoscopic are definitely higher.

Robotic Radical Cystectomy

Laparoscopic surgeries have been preferred by surgeons and oncologists for the last many years due to their minimally invasive and nerve-sparing features. With the advent of robotic surgery in the last decade, minimally invasive surgery has been propelled to an even higher level. While the traditional open surgeries would lead to significant blood loss, increased risks and complications, and tissue and nerve damage, robotic surgeries have overcome these disadvantages.

Robotic radical cystectomy, done is most of the robotic surgery centres using the da Vinci surgical method, is an advanced and more efficient method of surgery for bladder cancer. The surgeon controls the robotic arms to conduct a more precise and effective surgery. To learn more about how robotic surgery works, please click here.

Advantages of Robotic Cystectomy

The robotic surgery for bladder cancer has the following main advantages over open surgery:

1. Smaller incisions that do not damage that delicate nerves and muscle tissues.
2. Smaller scars
3. Lesser pain
4. Lesser blood loss
5. Faster recovery time leading to shorter hospital stay
6. Lesser risk of post-operative risks and complications

It is important to note that any type of surgery has inherent risks and side-effects, however, with robotic surgery, these complications can be greatly reduced.

To learn more about the possible treatments for bladder cancer and other bladder related issues, please contact our experts here.