From Vision to Reality
by Caitlund Davidson
Urology Care is Making Advances in Thunder Bay
Originally published in the November 2020 edition of the Walleye Magazine
Every day, men experience urologic or sexual health concerns. Whether it’s prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction, or kidney stones, these topics can often be difficult to talk about. For those who don’t feel comfortable talking to friends and family about men’s health, your health-care provider or a urologist is there to help. Fortunately, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has an exceptional team of urologists that are ready to provide the best possible care.
It started in 2016 when Dr. Walid Shahrour, a urologist specializing in reconstructive surgery, had a vision to make Thunder Bay an internationally known centre of excellence for urology by providing local and leading-edge care to individuals across the region. He has since teamed up with Dr. Hazem Elmansy and Dr. Ahmed Kotb (of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Superior Urology Clinic) to make that vision a reality.
Over the past few years, these physicians have achieved significant accomplishments that have brought recognition to the urology program. For example:
- Dr. Shahrour pioneered a procedure to improve the quality of life for prostate cancer survivors. The procedure keeps urine flowing normally by preventing urethral blockages that can cause kidney problems and infection.
- Dr. Elmansy is the only surgeon in Ontario who performs holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) surgery for an enlarged prostate.
- Dr. Kotb has operated on hundreds of patients with bladder cancer and renal tumors, as well as many testicular and penile malignancies.
International fellows from all over the world are eager to come and learn from our skilled and dedicated urologists as they continue to make advancements and grow the urology program.
“You need to believe you are worthy and show people that what you’re working on is important so they can get behind you and support you,” says Dr. Shahrour. “It took some convincing and a lot of hard work, but we are now seeing a remarkable difference in the urology department at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre and it means we can offer our patients techniques that weren’t available even a few short years ago.”
Recently, thanks to the physicians’ vision, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, and the support of our generous community, patients in Northwestern Ontario now have access to two new pieces of equipment for kidney stone surgery. The first device is the Lumenis MOSES laser system, the most advanced system for kidney stone removal. It reduces the risk of stone fragments getting lost and allows for a faster, safer, and less invasive surgery. The second new piece of equipment is the ShockPulse-SE that uses ultrasonic waves along with mechanical action to break up kidney stones that are too large to be treated using the laser system.
With the addition of new equipment, along with expertise and passion, these experienced urologists continue to work hard to innovate and bring the latest and greatest care to our community. While aiming to bring their vision to life, these urologists are careful to keep patients at the forefront of their work.
“Our goal is to enhance patient care through innovative research and surgical techniques,” says Dr. Elmansy. “Our patients deserve access to the highest quality care.”
November is Men’s Health Awareness Month and is a great opportunity to educate and inspire the men in your life to talk to their health care provider to learn more about their risk for being diagnosed with certain urologic conditions, as well as ways to take an active role in managing their health.
You can help to advance urology care in Northwestern Ontario by donating online at healthsciencesfoundation.ca/Urology or by calling 345-4673 and directing your gift to the Urology Fund.