Radiation complications

Men or women who have had pelvic radiation therapy for cancer can occasionally develop significant urinary problems including bleeding, severe overactive bladder, fistulas, strictures or incontinence.  The type and range of complications can vary greatly and potentially have a devastating impact on quality of life. In our experience, these radiation complications can be some of the most difficulty to treat because the radiation affects the health of the surrounding tissue and prevents routine healing from occurring after any surgical treatment. Because of the complexity of these problems treatment of radiation complications is best done by with significant experience and expertise.  Our doctors at Mount Sinai have years of experience managing radiation problems and helping patients with these problems when other doctors have given up hope.

Our evaluation begins with a detailed history of the problem including the type of radiation and symptoms that have occurred followed by a thorough physical exam.  Sometimes additional testing with a cystoscopy and studies such as urodynamics with imaging studies such as an ultrasound, MRI or CT scan with contrast dye may be useful to fully understand the exact anatomy and nature of the problem.

Once the full extent of the problem is understood treatment can range from surveillance, medications and oxygen therapy for minor, non-bothersome problems to reconstructive surgery for major, crippling problems. Mount Sinai doctors are experienced with providing the full range of treatment options and provide world-class care for these complicated problems.