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Healthy Balance

7 Quick Questions with Reconstructive Urologist Nicolas Ortiz, MD

Reconstructive urologist Nicolas Ortiz, wearing white coat and UVA Health badge

Reconstructive urologists help restore function of the urinary tract or penis in patients with conditions like:

Nicolas Ortiz, MD, says the greatest thing about his job is when patients tell him the procedure significantly improved their life.

Meet A UVA Reconstructive Urologist

We asked Ortiz to answer our 7 Quick Questions.

1. Why did you become a doctor?

Like many doctors, I was interested in science as a child. I also had a chance of volunteering in the emergency room at my local hospital and really enjoyed it. I found that medicine provided a challenging and exciting opportunity to apply creative problem solving while helping my community.

2. Why did you choose your specialty?

I chose to become a urologist, and more specifically a reconstructive urologist, because I have a unique opportunity and privilege to generate a positive impact in the quality of life of my patients, especially those who are cancer survivors.

3. What’s one thing about your specialty that might surprise people

That urologists see all people of all genders and all ages. We see children with birth abnormalities, young men and women with kidney stones, older men with prostate enlargement, and more.

4. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Bucaramanga; a medium sized city nestled in the Colombian Andes Mountains. I moved to the United States for college and medical school.

5. What’s the most exciting thing/research happening in your field right now?

I think the introduction of robotic surgery into the field of urologic reconstruction is an exciting development. Similar to cancer surgery, we are now using minimally invasive techniques to perform surgeries that we previously did through large incisions. This has improved the ability for patients to recover and decreased hospital stays.

Penile & Urethral Reconstruction

These procedures treat ED and other conditions of the penis and urinary tract.

6. Who is your inspiration or hero?

My family is my inspiration. Becoming a physician as a first generation immigrant was not easy. I could not have done it without their sacrifice and encouragement.

7. What’s your favorite thing about working at UVA?

I enjoy working at UVA because we have a fantastic team of people dedicated to providing compassionate, state of the art care.

View Transcript
Transcript: My name is Nicolas Ortiz and I'm a reconstructive urologist. I treat patients who have sustained loss of urinary function, usually secondary to injury or inflammation, or sometimes after other procedures, like removal or treatment of cancer. Some of the more common procedures that I perform are urethral reconstruction, as well as penile prosthesis for erectile dysfunction, and implantation of an artificial urinary sphincter. It's very important for me to know exactly what the patient is expecting, what they want to accomplish from our visit and our treatment. Once we have all the information, we can generate a plan that is customized to the patient. I am passionate about improving patient outcomes, as well as making surgery recovery faster and less painful. The greatest thing is seeing patients who come back and tell me that the procedure we've done has significantly improved their life. And they are usually very happy, which is extremely, extremely rewarding.

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