Helios St. Josefshospital Krefeld establishes competence center for complex urethral surgery
© Heribert Adams

Helios St. Josefshospital Krefeld establishes competence center for complex urethral surgery

With the center for reconstructive urological surgery for children and adults, which focuses on complex interventions, a medical beacon is being created in the region at Helios St. Josefshospital Uerdingen.

"With Prof. Darko Kröpfl and Dr. Inga Kunz, we have been able to gain two real capacities in European urology for complex urethral interventions for the medical management. Another focus in the future will be transitional medicine, which accompanies young adults in the transition from pediatric and adolescent medicine to adult medicine," says Prof. Martin Friedrich, inter-site chief physician of the clinics for urology and pediatric urology, explaining the development at the Uerdingen site.

Urological expertise, doubly reinforced  

Prof. Darko Kröpfl and Dr. Inga Kunz moved from Düsseldorf-Golzheim to the other side of the Rhine in April. The two are a well-established team, as the 38-year-old was able to benefit from her surgical mentor's more than 40 years of experience from the very first day of her residency. Today, they share their fascination for reconstructive urological surgery and operative pediatric urology on equal professional terms - as well as the high standards for the functional and aesthetic results of their treatments. "Of course, reconstructive urological procedures include not only the supreme disciplines of hypospadias (congenital malformation of the urethra) and urethral strictures (scarring narrowing of the urethra), but also surgery for incontinence, genital surgery for congenital and acquired malformations of the penis, and surgery for congenital and acquired urinary flow disorders," Prof. Darko Kröpfl provides an overview. His valuable wealth of experience results, among other things, from six years as deputy clinic director at the Clinic for Urology at Essen University Hospital, 25 years of chief medical responsibility for the Clinic for Urology, Pediatric Urology and Urological Oncology at the Essen-Mitte Clinics and a broad professional network.

A holistic view of every age

Dr. Inga Kunz completed her studies at the Medical Faculty of the University of Duisburg-Essen. After her residency at Kliniken Essen-Mitte and an intensive 'fellowship' in reconstructive urology under Prof. Darko Kröpfl, her path led her to the Clinic for Pediatric and Adolescent Surgery and Pediatric Urology at the Children's Hospital Amsterdamer Straße in Cologne in 2018. "This experience in dealing with and caring for children with complex malformations benefits me as a urologist today in both surgical and conservative care. Here the view is different, because the decision for a therapy recommendation is always about long-term results and possible problems that change with age and accompany affected persons throughout their lives. An ejaculation disorder may not yet be of much interest to a 14-year-old, but it is to a 24-year-old," clarifies the experienced urologist. Another passion has grown out of this time: transitional medicine.  

A competent point of contact for an easier transition

Children with complex malformations require very close-meshed care. When they reach the age of majority, they transition to adult medicine. For this transition, specialized urology facilities are important that can cover care that continues to be more intensive in time. "In this regard, it is important to know that complex congenital malformations, such as bladder exstrophy, occur only very occasionally, if at all, in the everyday practice of established colleagues. It is then sometimes difficult to provide treatment that is appropriate to the patient's needs. The same applies to the search for a urologist who is familiar with both pediatric and adult medicine. I would like to establish such a point of contact here in Uerdingen because I have seen how difficult it often is for these patients," explains Dr. Inga Kunz. 

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