Urology patient demands, economics drive evolution in surgery

Urology has undergone an evolution in both the way clinicians approach surgical and nonsurgical procedures and the settings in which they perform them.

In its 2010 State of the Specialty survey, Urology Times asked urologists what types of surgery they perform and how they expect the location of surgery to change. Respondents report that the majority of their surgeries are performed endoscopically/percutaneously (57%). Open surgeries accounted for the second highest rate (24%), laparoscopic procedures make up 8%, and robotic procedures 7% (vs. <2% in the first survey conducted in 2006).

In the next 5 years, 44% expect to do more office-based procedures, and 50% expect less hospital inpatient surgery.

"A big part of my practice deals with renal cancers and small renal tumors. We routinely treat those with cryoablation," Dr. Hammontree said. "In 1994, we took most of those kidneys out. Now I'm doing a lot of robotic laparoscopic nephrectomies, so it's been quite an evolution."