Fiona C. Burkhard, MD

Fiona C. Burkhard, MD

Bern University

Bern, Switzerland

Fiona C. Burkhard is chairwoman for Female Urology, Reconstructive Urology and Neurourology at the Department of Urology and Extraordinaria ad personam for Functional Urology at Bern University.

She completed her medical studies and doctoral thesis at the University of Zurich. She trained as an urologist in Bern under Prof. Urs Studer and in 1997/98 spent 18 months at the Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas for a “Fellowship in Female Urology and Voiding Dysfunction”. In 2001 she completed her urological training including board certification in operative urology. She is also board certified in Female Urology and Neurourology. From 2011-2019 she was a (the first female urologist) member of the scientific office of the European Association of Urology (EAU). In 2011 she was invited to join the incontinence guidelines group of the EAU, which she chaired from 2014 until 2019.

Her main interests are bladder dysfunction including bladder substitution. Together with Prof. K. Monastyrskaia and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation for over 10 years her research has focused on the molecular mechanisms of bladder dysfunction and potential clinical application.


Talks by Fiona C. Burkhard, MD

Orthotopic Bladder Substitutes in Females: Why We Should Do It

Fiona C. Burkhard, MD, explores the benefits of orthoptic reconstruction and nerve-sparing cystectomies for female patients. She begins by outlining factors involved in the decline of orthoptic reconstruction as a whole, including the popularity of non-nerve-sparing cystectomies over continent diversion surgeries.

Dr. Burkhard challenges the perceived superiority of non-nerve-sparing cystectomies over continent diversion surgeries. She presents multiple studies which support that cystectomies had inferior or comparable outcomes to diversion in terms of functional outcomes and urethral involvement.

Dr. Burkhard examines the differences in optimizing results for male versus female bladder cancer patients. She examines the data supporting the importance of nerve-sparing surgeries for female patients in preserving continence.

Dr. Burkhard concludes by examining the benefits of using orthoptic bladder substitutes in preserving female sexual function and preventing pelvic organ prolapse. She notes that organ-sparing cystectomies allow for female patients to become pregnant post-surgery, and that they have a lower impact on patient body image than ileal conduits.

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Management of Neurogenic Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction: Surgical Options with Reference to the Guidelines

Fiona C. Burkhard, MD, discusses the surgical management of neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD). Dr. Burkhard begins with an overview of the prevalence of NLUTD, its patterns related to spinal cord injury (SCI), and treatment goals. She summarizes guidelines from the European Association of Urology (EAU), the American Urological Association (AUA) and the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction (SUFU) regarding the surgical management of NLUTD.

Dr. Burkhard then describes clam ileocystoplasty, and shares data on the procedures’ success in stabilizing renal function and preventing anatomical deterioration. She cautions that lifelong follow-up is essential. Dr. Burkhard shares quality-of-life (QoL) data showing improvement after augmentation.

She addresses additional EAU, AUA, and SUFU guidelines on urinary diversion, before highlighting data on sex differences in bladder management, symptoms, and satisfaction after SCI. Dr. Burkhard addresses reflux prevention, bladder outlet, and catheterization issues.

Dr. Burkhard summarizes her lecture by emphasizing that, while variations exist in the grading of recommendations, overall recommendations for treatment are similar across guidelines. She reiterates the importance of the patient’s perspective and lifelong follow-up in highlighting the advantages of surgical management.

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