Coupling new leadership with a roster of specialists equipped to address even the most complex cases, the Division of Urology at SLUCare–The Physicians of Saint Louis University has rapidly become a trusted partner for referring physicians.
In less than a year, Sameer Siddiqui, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Urology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, has instituted a multipronged emphasis on recruitment, education, and clinical care and research.
A key recent addition to the program is pediatric urologist Barry Duel, MD, formerly of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He uses cutting-edge surgical and medical therapies to treat a diverse array of conditions in children, including congenital obstruction of the urinary tract, malformations of the genitalia and urinary incontinence. As part of SLU’s Fetal Care Institute, he even treats some patients before they’re born.
“This is not a common specialty, and there has been enormous demand for Dr. Duel’s services,” Dr. Siddiqui says. “He is so busy, we’re seeking to bring in an additional pediatric urologist within six to 12 months.”
Dr. Siddiqui, meanwhile, applies his expertise in minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgeries to reduce recovery times and postoperative pain.
“These procedures are becoming the standard of care throughout the United States,” he says. “The urban St. Louis area has been relatively underserved when it comes to these modalities. Now we’re able to provide these treatments and their associated benefits.”
Clearing the Path
Soon, the SLUCare Division of Urology will also offer microwave treatment for patients who have blockages in the pathway urine travels from the prostate gland. Traditionally, a patient suffering from this condition would endure a one- to two-hour procedure and spend a couple of days in the hospital, where he would wear a catheter and would likely experience bleeding. In contrast, microwave treatment is a nonsurgical procedure that opens the channel by heating the prostate. It takes less than 45 minutes and does not require general anesthesia.
“It’s an excellent option for men who may be too sick or elderly to tolerate surgery, but it’s also well-suited to younger men who don’t want to be hospitalized,” Dr. Siddiqui says. “They can have the procedure, go home and be at work the next day.”
Dr. Siddiqui is equally enthusiastic about the Division of Urology’s participation in clinical research, including a project addressing under-diagnosis of prostate cancer among African-American men.
“St. Louis has a significant population of African-American men, and we’re studying methods to enhance physician communication in order to educate patients and their families about the disease,” he adds. “We’re reaching out to a community that has been underserved for years.”
Asset to Community Care
Other important components of SLUCare’s Division of Urology include the addition of three urogynecologists, who handle all facets of urological care for women, and the anticipated implementation of a residency program within months.
The emphasis on education and research reinforces Dr. Siddiqui’s goal for the program: “We want to be the go-to place for physicians who have patients with complex urological problems,” he says.
Physicians in SLUCare’s Division of Urology treat patients at Saint Louis University Hospital, SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, SSM St. Mary’s Health Center and Mercy Hospital St. Louis. To schedule an appointment with a SLUCare urologist, please call 800-637-5463 or visit us at slucare.edu.