Fiona C. Burkhard, MD, presented “Orthotopic Bladder Substitutes in Females: Why We Should Do It​” during the 43rd Annual Ralph E. Hopkins Urology Seminar on January 31, 2024, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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How to cite: Burkhard, Fiona C. “Orthotopic Bladder Substitutes in Females: Why We Should Do It.” January 31, 2024. Accessed Jul 2024.

Orthotopic Bladder Substitutes in Females: Why We Should Do It – Summary

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 that 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.

About The 43rd Annual Ralph E. Hopkins Urology Seminar:

The Ralph E. Hopkins Urology Seminar is a multi-day meeting focused on training urologists in the latest in assessing, diagnosing, and treating urologic conditions in the clinical setting. Updates are provided on urologic cancers, stone disease, urologic reconstruction, female urology, infertility, sexual function, emerging surgical techniques, and general urology. The 43rd iteration of the meeting took place from January 31st to February 2nd, 2024, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

For further educational activities from this conference, visit our collection page.


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.