Urology Division News

New treatment offers outpatient option for enlarged prostate

A new medical procedure is now available in central Illinois for treating a common male malady. Water vapor therapy can be done in an outpatient setting to treat Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate. BPH is present in the majority of men over age 40, and more than 90 percent of men over age 80, according to the National Institutes of Health. It affects the frequency and ease of urination.

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine surgeon Kevin T. McVary, MD, professor and chair of the Division of Urology, and his staff have performed the treatment as part of a clinical trial. The treatment was approved by the FDA last winter. SIU will now be instructing urologists from around the country on how to perform this technique.

SIU’s urology group was one of the country’s first test sites for the device’s clinical trials. “This is a big improvement over other therapies,” McVary said. “It is safe, it is effective, it is fast.” The innovative technology is minimally invasive and can be performed in clinic or an outpatient surgery center depending on overall health of the patient.

The procedure uses a tiny camera scope passed through the urethra and an even smaller needle, which goes into the prostate multiple times, depending on the size of the prostate. It delivers a drop of water vapor (steam) to the target area, rather than using lasers or electricity. The water vapor technology is confined within the boundaries of the prostate and does not affect surrounding tissues. The steam travels between the prostate cell walls and collapses them, shrinking the prostate to normal levels. The body then reabsorbs the tissue. “During the clinical trial we saw a great result with shrinkage of the prostate and the patients tolerated the procedure well,” said Danuta Dynda, MD, assistant professor of research in urology and the Center for Clinical Research. Normal prostate surgery leaves scar tissue; only 11 percent of the tissue is reabsorbed.

Rick Fritz, 55, was one of Dr. McVary’s first patients to undergo the treatment during its clinical trial phase. “I was getting up so often at night to go to the bathroom, it was disrupting my sleep,” he said. “I needed to do something.” When McVary told him about the new treatment, he was game.

“I had one session, we were done in a half-hour and my prostate shrunk by more than half,” Fritz said. “It’s one of the best things I ever did for myself. I would definitely do it again.”

Candidates for the procedure have typically tried medication first without success.

For more information about BPH treatments, contact the SIU Division of Urology at 217-545-8000.


The majority of medical students participate in the March Match every year to find out the location of their residency for continued medical training. A few specialties, including Urology, hold their Resident Match earlier. On Wednesday, January 20th, 2016, at 8:00 am, all four of our SIU students (among 417 other applicants) learned of their fate in the highly competitive Urology Residency Match.   We are thrilled to announce that all four of our students successfully matched into a Urology Program where they will train for the next 5 years. 


L - R: Geiger, Holland, Moore, Lwin

In the entire country, 71% (294) of applicants matched into 124 programs. 133 schools had at least one student vying in the Urology Match. Of these schools, 41% had at least one student that did not match. Even further exemplifying the feat our students were able to accomplish is the fact that only 25% of these schools had four or more students applying and matching to Urology.

Our students worked diligently with the Division of Urology, under the tutelage of their mentors, Dr. Kevin T. McVary, Dr. Tobias S. Köhler, and Dr. Bradley F. Schwartz, to learn and excel from their clinical rotations resulting in impressive performances at their away rotations in their fourth year. Knowing that Urology was competitive, all four also became immersed in a myriad of research projects during their medical school career. Cumulatively, they were involved in 18 separate projects, 14 abstract submission and 7 presentations/posters at local, regional, and national conferences (IUS, NCS, SMSNA, AUA), 3 book chapters currently in press, and 10 publications.

We wish them luck in their very bright futures and have no doubt they will continue to make SIU School of Medicine proud!



Urology has had a busy four months of conferences and our residents and faculty continue to be a presence at each of them.

The 2015 Annual Meeting of the Illinois Urological Society (IUS) was held September 19-20, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, IL. Our residents (Drs. Nathaly Francois – PGY5, Luke Frederick – PGY5, Randy Sulaver – PGY4, Thomas Tieu - PGY4, Julia Fiuk – PGY3, Michael Kottwitz – PGY3, Joshua Ring – PGY2, and Daniel Sadowski – PGY2) presented nine of the 12 presentations. The other three presentations were made by residents from Cook County Hospital, University of Chicago, and Northwestern University. Dr. Shaheen Alanee (Urologic Oncology) also conducted a video demonstration and workshop on MRI ultrasound fusion targeted biopsies for prostate cancer.

For the first time in the history of the SIU Urology Program, 9/10 residents presented at the annual meeting of the North Central Section (NCS) of the American Urological Association (AUA) held November 10-14, 2015 at Amelia Island, FL. Besides the majority of the faculty (Drs. McVary, Köhler, Schwartz, and Alanee), the following residents had either poster or podium presentations and some even had multiple presentations: Drs. Nathaly Francois – PGY5, Luke Frederick – PGY5, Randy Sulaver – PGY4, Thomas Tieu - PGY4, Julia Fiuk – PGY3, Michael Kottwitz – PGY3, Joshua Ring – PGY2, and Daniel Sadowski – PGY2, and Neil Bipin – PGY1. Much appreciation for Drs. Wesley Baas (PGY1) and Dr. Stephen Beck for staying behind and holding down the fort.

The Society of Sexual Medicine of North America (SMSNA) took place in Las Vegas, NV, November 19-22, 2015. Dr. Köhler served as the Scientific Program Chair for the second consecutive year, gave multiple presentations, and held moderator duties for several sessions. Dr. Danuta Dynda was an invited speaker on the subject of conducting research. Andrology fellow, Dr. Michael Butcher had a poster and presentation on projects that were conducted during his fellowship training. In attendance for SIU were also Dr. Joshua Ring (PGY2), Dr. Wesley Baas (PGY1), and Aye Lwin (M4) who all gave either poster or podium presentations. Joshua Ring won the essay prize for best case report in sexual health on “A Case Series of 3-Piece Penile Implant Pump Failures” (mentored by Dr. Köhler). Dr. Baas won best abstract for “Post-Finasteride Syndrome: Is Dutasteride unfairly accused?” (mentored by Drs. Köhler and McVary) along with the essay prize in Best Male Sexual Health for the same project.

The Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) held their annual meeting December 2-4, 2015 in Washington, DC. Dr. Daniel Sadowski (PGY2) had a poster presentation, “Kidney Cancer in Rural Illinois: Lower Incidence Yet Higher Mortality Rates” (mentored by Drs. Alanee and McVary). At this same conference, Dr. Shaheen Alanee had three additional poster presentations on topics pertaining to natural killer cells in renal cells, trichloroethylene association with kidney cancer mortality, and neuroendocrine prostate cancer.

On January 6, 2016, at the Chicago Medical Society, four residents, Dr. Julia Fiuk (PGY3), Dr. Daniel Sadowski (PGY2), Dr. Joshua Ring (PGY2), and Dr. Wesley Baas (PGY1), presented their entries in the Annual Resident Essay Contest. Dr. Julia Fiuk won first place with her essay, “Novel Use of Dual Energy CT in Guiding Treatment of Complex Renal Cysts” (mentored by Drs. Shaheen Alanee and Bradley Schwartz).

Men's Health article featuring Dr. Kohler

The Ejaculation Problem Most Men Don’t Talk About. This condition is rarer than premature ejaculation, but is equally frustrating. more...


Outstanding Educator of the Year

Bradley Schwartz, DO, FACS, professor of surgery, was selected as Outstanding Educator of the Year by the SIU Academy for Scholarship in Education.
Also announced was the first ever Outstanding Student Medical Educator: Bryan Kidd, MD.




SIU Urology Shines at AUA

May 15 – 19, 2015, in New Orleans, LA, the vast majority of our Urology Division descended upon the annual meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) along with 40,000 urologists, residents, mid-level providers, and industry representatives from the rest of the country and around the world.  Our contingent was involved in nearly 40 presentations during the five day event.  The Faculty representatives were Drs. Ahmed El-Zawahry, Tobias Köhler, Kevin McVary, and Bradley Schwartz who were moderators, speakers, reviewers, expert panelists, and faculty mentors.  Drs. McVary and Köhler presented in the main plenary sessions on BPH medications and steroid abuse respectively. Along with presenting our research findings, Dr. Köhler (Director) and Dr. Schwartz (Faculty) presented a half day educational seminar “Surgeons as Educators: A Primer for Academic Development and Teaching Excellence.” This year’s and last year's Andrology fellows Drs. Michael Butcher and Charles Welliver had both podium and poster presentations. 

The Urology residents that presented podium and/or poster presentations were: Brad Stevenson, MD (PGY5); Luke Frederick, MD (PGY4), Tom Tieu, MD (PGY3); Randy Sulaver, MD (PGY3); Michael Kottwitz, MD (PGY2); and Daniel Sadowski, MD, MPH (PGY1).  For the first time ever, three medical students (Bradley Holland-M3, Aaron Moore-M3, and Max Nutt-M2) attended with poster presentations under the tutelage of Drs. Shaheen Alanee and Tobias Köhler and the supervision of Drs. El-Zawahry and Schwartz.  Max Nutt’s poster was chosen as one of the AUA highlights for the Oncology sessions.  Dr. Köhler was a finalist in the young investigator’s research competition which highlights the top urologic research within the first 10 years of clinical practice. He was also named a top Reviewer in men’s health for the Journal of Urology, an honor given to the professional who meaningfully reviews the most peer-reviewed journals in each academic year.

The research presented at this year’s Annual Meeting was spearheaded by Dr. Danuta Dynda, Research Assistant Professor, and was a truly collaborative effort within members of the Division of Urology, the Department of Surgery, the Center for Clinical Research and it’s research development, clinical trials, and statistics cores, and outside institutions like Northwestern University and John’s Hopkins to name a few.