Surgical Management of Urolithiasis of the Upper Tract – Current Trend of Endourology in Africa

Urolithiasis is a global pathology with increasing prevalence rate. The lifetime recurrence of urolithiasis ranges from 10– 75% creating a public health crisis in affected regions. The epidemiology of urolithiasis in most parts of Africa and Asia remains poorly documented as incidence and prevalence rates in these settings are extrapolated from hospital admissions. The surgical management of kidney and ureteral stones is based on the stone location, size, the patient’s preference and the institutional capacity. To date, the available modalities in the management of urolithiasis includes external shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), ureterorenoscopy (URS) including flexible and semirigid ureteroscopy. However, regarding the lack of endourological equipment and expertise in most parts of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), most urological centers in these regions still consider open surgery for kidney and ureteral stones. This review explores the current trend and surgical management of upper tract urolithiasis in SSA with insight on the available clinical guidelines

Impact of COVID-19 on Urology Practice: A Global Perspective and Snapshot Analysis

The global impact of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on urology practice remains unknown. Self-selected urologists worldwide completed an online survey by the Société Internationale d’Urologie (SIU). A total of 2494 urologists from 76 countries responded, including 1161 (46.6%) urologists in an academic setting, 719 (28.8%) in a private practice, and 614 (24.6%) in the public sector. The largest proportion (1074 (43.1%)) were from Europe, with the remainder from East/Southeast Asia (441 (17.7%)), West/Southwest Asia (386 (15.5%)), Africa (209 (8.4%)), South America (198 (7.9%)), and North America (186 (7.5%)). An analysis of differences in responses was carried out by region and practice setting. The results reveal significant restrictions in outpatient consultation and non-emergency surgery, with nonspecific efforts towards additional precautions for preventing the spread of COVID-19 during emergency surgery. These restrictions were less notable in East/Southeast Asia. Urologists often bear the decision-making responsibility regarding access to elective surgery (40.3%). Restriction of both outpatient clinics and non-emergency surgery is considerable worldwide but is lower in East/Southeast Asia. Measures to control the spread of COVID-19 during emergency surgery are common but not specific. The pandemic has had a profound impact on urology practice. There is an urgent need to provide improved guidance for this and future pandemics.

Uro-oncology in Times of COVID-19: The Available Evidence and Recommendations in the Indian Scenario

The Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), one of the most devastating pandemics ever, has left thousands of cancer patients to their fate. The future course of this pandemic is still an enigma, but health care services are expected to resume soon in a phased manner. This might be a long drawn process and we need to have policies in place, to be able to fight both, the SARS-CoV-2 virus and cancer, simultaneously, and emerge triumphant. An extensive literature search for impact of delay in management of various urological malignancies was carried out. Expert opinions were sought wherever there was paucity of evidence, in order to reach a consensus and come up with recommendations for directing uro-oncology services in the times of COVID-19. The panel recommends deferring treatment of patients with renal cell carcinoma by 3 to 6 months, except for those with ongoing hematuria and/or inferior vena cava thrombus, which warrant immediate surgery. Metastatic renal cell cancers should be started on targeted therapy. Low grade non-muscle invasive bladder cancers can be kept on active surveillance while high risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancers and muscle invasive bladder cancers should be treated within 3 months. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy should be avoided. Management of low and intermediate risk prostate cancer can be deferred for 3 to 6months while high risk prostate cancer patients can be initiated on neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy. Patients with testicular tumors should undergo high inguinal orchiectomy and be treated according to stage without delay, with stage I patients being offered surveillance. Penile cancers should undergo penectomy, while clinically negative groins can be kept on surveillance. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy should be avoided and adjuvant therapy should be deferred. We need to tailor our treatment strategies to the prevailing present conditions, so as to fight and defeat both, the SARS-CoV-2 virus and cancer. Protection of health care workers, judicious use of available resources, and a rational and balanced outlook towards different malignancies is the need of the hour.

Review of Testicular Tumor: Diagnostic Approach and Management Outcome in Africa

Testicular cancer is a common malignancy in young males with higher incidence in developed nations but with the lowest incidence in Africa (0.3-0.6/100 000). Ironically, the global testicular cancer mortality rate has shown a reverse trend to its incidence with higher rates in low- and middle-income countries (0.5 per 100 000) than in high-income countries. Data from GLOBOCAN 2008 have shown relatively high mortality rates in sub-Saharan countries like Mali, Ethiopia, Niger and Malawi. The prognosis of testicular tumor is good with remarkable chemosensitivity to cisplatin-based regimen. Early diagnosis, careful staging and a multidisciplinary management approach is crucial to achieve this optimal result. These results are achievable in the sub-Saharan region if the relevant resources are appropriated for cancer care and clinical guidelines are formulated in a regional context.

Non-endoscopic management of a giant ureterocele: a case report in resource poor African hospital

Ureterocele is a cystic dilatation of the distal sub mucosal part of the ureter. It is a congenital anomaly that may co-exist with other anomalies. It has an incidence 1 in 4000 live births. Patients present with symptoms at paediatric age or may remain asymptomatic till adulthood. Our 30 year old female patient was assessed for a giant orthotropic right ureterocele with obstructive uropathy, in a hospital that has no modern facilities for endoscopic treatment. She then had successful open surgical repair of the ureterocele with satisfactory outcome. Minimally invasive endoscopic treatment options remains the gold standard. Patients from poor resource regions can as well be treated successfully by open surgical repair like our index case presented.

Management guidelines of penile cancer- a contemporary review of sub-Saharan Africa

Background
Penile cancer is a rare malignancy with prevalence higher in areas of high Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) such as Africa, Asia and South America. In middle- and low-income countries where circumcision is not routinely practiced, the rate of penile cancer could be ten times higher.

Main body of the abstract
A literature review was conducted from 1992 to 2019 using PubMed, Google Scholar, African Journal Online and Google with inclusion of 27 publications with emphasis on the Sub-Saharan literature. Findings revealed that most men with penile cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) present with locally advanced to advanced disease with devastating consequences. The option of penile sparing procedure is reduced with most treatment option directed to mutilating surgeries. The lack of appropriate chemotherapy and radiotherapy worsens the prognosis in the region.

Short conclusion
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination may not be cost-effective for most regions in SSA. Therefore, early childhood circumcision might be the best advocated alternative for prevention.

Economic benefits and costs of surgery for filarial hydrocele in Malawi

Background
Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is endemic in 72 countries of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. An estimated 25 million men live with the disabling effects of filarial hydrocele. Hydrocele can be corrected with surgery with few complications. For most men, hydrocelectomy reduces or corrects filarial hydrocele and permits them to resume regular activities of daily living and gainful employment.

Methodology and principal findings
This study measures the economic loss due to filarial hydrocele and the benefits of hydrocelectomy and is based on pre- and post-operative surveys of patients in southern Malawi. We find the average number of days of work lost due to filarial hydrocele and daily earnings for men in rural Malawi. We calculate average annual lost earnings and find the present discounted value for all years from the time of surgery to the end of working life. We estimate the total costs of surgery. We compare the benefit of the work capacity restored to the costs of surgery to determine the benefit-cost ratio. For men younger than 65 years old, the average annual earnings loss attributed to hydrocele is US$126. The average discounted present value of lifetime earnings loss for those men is US$1684. The average budgetary cost of the hydrocelectomy is US$68. The ratio of the benefit of surgery to its costs is US$1684/US$68 or 24.8. Sensitivity analysis demonstrates that the results are robust to variations in cost of surgery and length of working life.

Conclusion
The lifetime benefits of hydrocelectomy–to the man, his family, and his community–far exceed the costs of repairing the hydrocele. Scaling up subsidies to hydrocelectomy campaigns should be a priority for governments and international aid organizations to prevent and alleviate disability and lost earnings that aggravate poverty among the many millions of men with filarial hydrocele.

The Burden of Urological Disease in Zomba, Malawi: A Needs Assessment in a sub-Saharan Tertiary Care Center

Introduction: A large part of the developing world continues to lack access to surgical care. Urology remains one of the least represented surgical subspecialties in global health. To begin understanding the burden of urological illness in sub-Saharan Africa, we sought to characterize all patients presenting to a tertiary care hospital in Malawi with a urological diagnosis or related complaint in the past year.

Methods: Retrospective review of the surgical clinic and surgical theater record books at Zomba Central Hospital (ZCH) was performed over a one-year time span. Patients presenting with urological diagnoses or undergoing a urological procedure under local or general anesthetic in the operating theater were identified and entered into a database.

Results: We reviewed 440 clinical patients. The most common clinical presentations were for urinary retention (34.7%) and lower urinary tract symptoms (15.5%). A total of 182 surgical cases were reviewed. The most common diagnoses for surgical patients were urethral stricture disease (22%), bladder masses (17%), and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms (14.8%). Urethral stricture-related procedures, including direct visual internal urethrotomy and urethral dilatation, were the most common (14.2% and 7.7%, respectively). BPH-related procedures, including simple prostatectomy and transurethral resection of the prostate were the second most common (6.7% and 8.2%, respectively).

Conclusions: Urethral stricture disease, BPH, and urinary retention represent the clinical diagnoses with the highest burden of visits. Despite these numbers, few definitive procedures are performed annually. Further focus on urological training in sub-Saharan Africa should focus on these conditions and their surgical management.

Stricture of Urethra: Patterns and Outcomes of Management From a Single Centre in Pakistan Over 7 Years

Objective: To determine the outcomes of urethroplasty and its complications from a large cohort of patients managed in a single centre.

Study design: Descriptive study.

Place and duration of study: Department of Urology, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), Karachi, from January 2010 to December 2016.

Methodology: A total of 546 patients with stricture urethra at different locations underwent urethroplasty from January 2010 to December 2016 were included. All patients had an ascending urethrogram followed by retrograde ± antegrade urethroscopy to assess the location and length of the stricture. Technique of urethroplasty was chosen according to the site, length and etiology. Following appropriate procedure, patients were followed up in the dedicated urethral stricture clinic. Procedure was considered successful if either no further therapeutic intervention was required and the maximum flow rate (Qmax) was >20 ml/sec with a voided volume of at least 200 mls. The procedure was regarded as unsuccessful, if further treatment was required or Qmax was <10ml/sec.

Results: A total of 546 patients with mean age of 32.3 +13.1 years (range: 12-74) involving anterior (n=323, 59.2%) or posterior (n=223, 40.8%) urethra were treated. Mean follow-up was 43.6 months (range: 3-84). The success rates of bulbar urethral strictures after excision and primary anastomosis (EPA) was 93. 3%, non-transecting urethroplasty 84.6% and oral mucosal graft (OMG), 81.8%. In penile urethral strictures, OMG, Orandi procedure and Johanson's techniques yielded success rates of 88.4%, 66.6% and 57.1%, respectively. In posterior urethral strictures, after excision and bulboprostatic anastomosis, good results were seen in 88.3%. In pan-urethral strictures, abdominal skin graft repair, combined tissue transfer and OMG urethroplasty yielded success rates of 74%, 78.5% and 75%, respectively. The complications/ adverse events were encountered in 251 / 546 (45.9%) patients in this series.

Conclusion: Anastomotic urethroplasty yielded best outcomes followed by OMG urethroplasty. In the long-term follow-up, erectile dysfunction (ED), infertility and recurrence of stricture are the main complications which need individualised management.

Diagnosis and management of 365 ureteric injuries following obstetric and gynecologic surgery in resource-limited settings.

Ureteric injuries are among the most serious complications of pelvic surgery. The incidence in low-resource settings is not well documented.This retrospective review analyzes a cohort of 365 ureteric injuries with ureterovaginal fistulas in 353 women following obstetric and gynecologic operations in 11 countries in Africa and Asia, all low-resource settings. The patients with ureteric injury were stratified into three groups according to the initial surgery: (a) obstetric operations, (b) gynecologic operations, and (c) vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) repairs.The 365 ureteric injuries in this series comprise 246 (67.4%) after obstetric procedures, 65 (17.8%) after gynecologic procedures, and 54 (14.8%) after repair of obstetric fistulas. Demographic characteristics show clear differences between women with iatrogenic injuries and women with obstetric fistulas. The study describes abdominal ureter reimplantation and other treatment procedures. Overall surgical results were good: 92.9% of women were cured (326/351), 5.4% were healed with some residual incontinence (19/351), and six failed (1.7%).Ureteric injuries after obstetric and gynecologic operations are not uncommon. Unlike in high-resource contexts, in low-resource settings obstetric procedures are most often associated with urogenital fistula. Despite resource limitations, diagnosis and treatment of ureteric injuries is possible, with good success rates. Training must emphasize optimal surgical techniques and different approaches to assisted vaginal delivery.