History of Innovation

History of Innovation

The Department of Urology consistently leads by innovation. Joseph A. Smith, Jr., M.D., the William L. Bray Professor of Surgery and Chair Emeritus, was among the first surgeons in the United States to perform robotic surgery, with the first urologic robotic procedure performed at Vanderbilt in 2003. Vanderbilt University Medical Center has since performed more than 10,000 robotic procedures.

Today our faculty continues to improve robotic surgical systems and design and develop new medical and surgical approaches to urologic management and care. We often are the first to market with new treatments for patients with:

  • Benign urologic conditions
  • Urologic cancers, such as:
    • Prostate
    • Bladder
  • Stone disease
  • Voiding dysfunction

The growth of our program since the 1990's includes building robust residency and fellowship programs and establishing ourselves as a top referral center for bladder cancer. Our faculty continually lead and partner on research and innovative projects through several Vanderbilt centers, including:

  • Vanderbilt Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research
  • Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering (VISE)
  • MEDLab (Medical Engineering and Discovery Lab)
  • Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
  • Institute for Medicine and Public Health

Our philosophy consists of working on tomorrow's innovations today, to benefit patients in Nashville, across the United States, and around the globe.

Decades of Change

The Department of Urology is a flagship service within the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Our work in advancing robotic surgery and managing prostate cancer and many other urologic conditions makes us clinical leaders and the go-to center for referring physicians and doctors who want to specialize in urology.

2018 Innovations

2017 Innovations

2016 Innovations

  • Being the world's first site to treat a patient in the TULSA-PRO Ablation Clinical Trail (TACT), which uses MRI guidance and robotically driven therapeutic ultrasound to obtain precise prostate cancer tissue ablation.

2015 Innovations

2013 Innovations