Vesico-Urethral Connector

Collaborator: Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH)

Apart from being the second most frequently diagnosed disease, prostate cancer was the sixth leading cause of cancer death in 2011 among men worldwide. Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in Singapore men. Currently, the treatment involves removal of the prostate, leaving a gap between the urethra and the bladder neck. The present practice for anastomosis between the bladder and the urethra is hand sewing. Not only is this procedure technically difficult, it is unstable, insecure and increases the risk of infection requiring longer external catheterization of the patient. Using an internal “biodegradable connector” will significantly lower these issues and make the recovery process a smoother one. The commercial impact of the project will be substantial as the frequency of prostate removal is high, and the benefits of the new procedure are significant. In this project, our aim is to develop a self-expanded biodegradable vesico-urethral connector with drug elution capability. The same connector will be radio-opaque and be deployable using currently-available interventional delivery system. We hypothesise that this connector will improve the healing of the anastomosis in the gap between the bladder and urethra, and reduce the catheterization period of the patient.

Schematic representation of anastomosis achieved by the connector


Funding agency: NTU-NHG (ICG)