Minimally Invasive Treatments

Our physicians are experts in all treatment options, including minimally invasive procedures that are popular because of the potential for shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery times. For example,

  • We offer Laparoscopy for a variety of conditions.
  • We are one of a few centers in the country offering robotic-assisted laparoscopic procedures for both children and adults. Our minimally invasive surgery team is headed by a world expert who helped establish robotic surgery in the field of urology and traveled the globe initiating urologic robotic surgery programs. View a few examples of the complex cases Ashok Hemal, MD is experienced performing in the video player below.


    With robotic surgery, surgeons make small incisions in the patient’s abdomen through which a camera and robotic instruments are inserted. The surgeon sits at a console away from the patient and controls four instruments using finger and hand movements. The tiny centimeter-sized instruments eliminate the need for the six- to eight-inch incision required with traditional surgery. The camera gives the surgeon a three-dimensional view inside the patient’s body with a magnification of 10- to 15-fold.
  • For kidney stones, minimally invasive options include shock wave lithotripsy, in which an energy source directs a shock wave at the stone, causing it to fragment into small pieces. Shock waves reach the patient through a water bath. Another option is Ureteroscopy, in which the surgeon uses a small, fiber-optic instrument to gain access to the kidney or ureter. Instruments are used to remove the stone, or if it is too large, to shatter it first. For large stones located in the kidney, a “keyhole” procedure known as Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PNL) can be used. It requires only a small incision in the flank.
  • For enlarged prostate, new technology is able to replicate the results of TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate), the most common surgery for enlarged prostate. We are one of a few practices in the country selected to test the latest technology for this procedure before it was widely available. Known as high-energy transurethral microwave thermotherapy (HE-TUMT), the office-based treatment requires no anesthesia and uses electromagnetic energy to destroy portions of prostate tissue. A recent analysis conducted by Gopal Badlani, MD, and colleagues found that because of newer higher-energy versions of equipment, HE-TUMT is highly effective, has fewer complications than TURP, and is at the forefront of minimally invasive options. In addition, our Medical Center offers “green light laser” technology that offers the advantages of reduces bleeding.
  • TUNA (transurethral needle ablation) is another minimally invasive treatment for enlarged prostate. The physician uses a camera to see the prostate, and passed needles into the area. High-energy radiowaves heat the prostate tissue, which eventually causes it to shrink. Advantages include lower levels of anesthesia than traditional surgery. 

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Wake Forest Baptist is one of the nation's top hospitals for urologic care.

Last Updated: 11-21-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.