“Movember” is Here!

As you probably know, “Movember” is a global movement each November aimed at raising awareness of men’s health risks, especially prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges. Using the mustache as a catalyst, Movember encourages men to invest in their own health by more openly talking about their health concerns and more proactively seeking necessary medical care.

This is important stuff!  Did you know that the WHO (World Health Organization) expects the number of prostate cancer cases to double to 1.7 million in less than 20 years?  

IVUmed experts provide education for treatment of common urological cancers such as bladder and prostate cancer all around the world.  

Go get checked, and if you need to, get treated.  In countries that IVUmed serves, these treatable conditions go undiagnosed and can cause untold suffering and death.  

You can help! 

Encourage your man to grow a mustache…unless you don’t like them.  If that’s the case, just encourage them to make an appointment and get a physical.  Women get mammograms – let’s get guys to take their health seriously too!

You can also make a donation to the life-saving work of IVUmed in honor of the man in your life.  Instead of new mustache wax for the holidays, make a gift to IVUmed in your guy’s name. 


Go here for more information regarding the Movember movement.

Read More

June 9-15 is Men’s Health Week!


June is Men’s Health Week, and the month of June is Men’s Health Month, a time to “heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.” 


Men’s Health Month is anchored by a Congressional health education program and celebrated across the country and internationally with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities.


IVUmed’s workshops provide quality care and build surgical capacity to serve men and their families  in low-resource regions all over the world. Our medical volunteers provide surgical training for both common and neglected urological conditions affecting men, women, and children. Click here to learn more about IVUmed’s workshops, serving men, women, and children on a local and global scale.


Check out this link from if you’d like to participate in Men’s Health Week events in your area!


Follow us online for more updates on IVUmed workshops and events around the world:

FacebookLogo_NoEdges   images   linkedin   YouTube Logo


Read More

Urology and Children: A Nurse’s Perspective

The continued account of IVUmed volunteer recovery nurse, Michael Felber, regarding his recent IVUmed humanitarian service in Zambia, shared from his travel journal:


IVUZambia10082013 008


IVUmed missions have a focus on education. There is very little fanfare and the only visitors to the hospital are other doctors and medical students. The operating rooms are usually full of observers and IVUmed surgeons and anesthesiologists work together.


Many of the surgeries this week have been revisions of previous surgeries. Pediatric urology as a specialty doesn’t exist as a standalone specialty in most of the developing world. Children need different techniques and different care than adults do though, so specialized training is needed. It’s a dilemma for IVU. The best way to teach doctors surgical techniques is with primary surgeries, allowing them to learn how to do surgeries that won’t require a redo. At the same time, you can’t ignore the needs of children who are living with bad outcomes from previous surgeries.



One of the common procedures is a hypospadias repair, a relatively common birth defect where the opening of the urethra is on the shaft or base of the penis instead of the tip. It is typically treated in infancy in the developed world. The implications depend on where the hypospadias is. If the urethra empties on the distal (tip) end the child may not be able to urinate straight, but otherwise function normally. If it is proximal (base of the penis), the penis will not be able to straighten. The child may not be able to urinate while standing, and eventually will not have normal fertility. The surgery to repair a hypospadias takes a couple of hours. The urethra is reconstructed to the tip of the penis, and the skin is closed with a graft, usually from the foreskin. The child has a catheter in place while healing. Probably the most common complication that occurs after surgery is the formation of a fistula. Instead of healing completely along the suture line, a second opening forms from the urethra to the shaft of the penis. The child will not urinate in a normal single stream and may “leak” urine after emptying his bladder. Repairing is complicated by excessive scar tissue or a shortage of soft, healthy skin available for grafting.


Another problem that requires surgical treatment is the formation of posterior urethral valves. Normally urine empties from the bladder through the urethra. Posterior urethral valves are malformed tissues that block this flow of urine, only allowing it to leak out under very high pressure. Children with this condition have chronically full bladders. The pressure forces urine into the ureters, which empty urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The additional pressure restricts blood flow to the kidneys, preventing normal growth and eventually starving the kidneys of oxygenated blood. In the short term children with this condition are incontinent. Over time they develop kidney failure. Surgical repair of post urethral valves requires specialized techniques and equipment. In countries where these are not available, the treatment may involve creating an opening from the abdomen to the bladder and placing a tube attached to a drainage bag. This relieves the pressure on the child’s bladder but greatly increases the risk of bladder infections and bladder cancer. Tubes and drainage bags need to be replaced frequently and urine can leak from the opening, and the associated shame and isolation impedes normal social development. In addition to teaching surgical techniques, IVU donates necessary equipment for this repair and teaches techniques that can be done with local resources and equipment.


The most complex treatment is for bladder exstrophy, a condition that results from insufficient room in the pelvis for the bladder. Instead it tries to form outside the abdomen, leaving an opening that drains urine continuously. The implications are complete incontinence, and heightened risk of abdominal cancer and infection. Surgical treatment requires reshaping the pelvis to accommodate the bladder, and reconstructing and reforming the bladder using grafts from other tissue. Because of the complexity, surgical reconstructions are often done in stages.   

 All of these conditions have significant impacts on the lives of children and their families. The suffering they cause is often discreet. Urological defects tend to be hidden behind a wall of shame and often these children are ostracized socially, and are unable to find employment or get married as adults. I think in the end all of these conditions affect people’s most basic sense of dignity.

 The last two patients are in the operating rooms.  One more day left.  It feels like I have been here much longer than a week, though.

Read More

Father’s Day 2012

Read More
IVUmed is committed to making quality urological care available to people worldwide.