Urology Department

  • Our Clinics
    and Services
     
  • Fellowship
    Programmes
     
  • Patient
    Education
     
  • Milestone and
    Achievements
     

The Department of Urology at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) was first formed as a subspecialty service within the Department of General Surgery in 1993, and eventually matured into its own Department in 2007 under the inaugural headship of Associate Professor Chia Sing Joo.

Since then, we have rapidly expanded our capabilities to become a one-stop centre providing a comprehensive range of urological subspecialty services. Today, the Department of Urology is headed by Adjunct Associate Professor Chong Yew Lam, and comprises 8 consultants and 2 associate consultants. We pride ourselves on becoming the department of choice for urological patient care and for staff to work in, through delivering excellent clinical care for our patients. This has been the result of having our specialists complete formal subspecialty training at best centres in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, as well as harnessing the best available technologies in the market to deliver cost-effective treatment to our patients with a gentle, caring touch. 

Our comprehensive suite of urology services include:

Urologic oncology

We work closely with our colleagues in the Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology and Radiology departments to provide holistic multi-disciplinary care for our cancer patients.

These include regular multi-disciplinary tumour board and uro-radiology case discussions for our patients.

In addition, we offer both open and minimally-invasive surgical options for all urological cancers. We were the first to perform radical perineal prostatectomy in Singapore in 1996 and also performed the first laparoscopic radical nephrectomy in the country in 2002 and the first laparoscopic radical prostatectomy in 2003. We launched our robotic surgery programme in 2010 and had completed 100 successful robotic surgeries by 2012. Today, our robotic radical prostatectomy and partial nephrectomy programmes are well established. We are also a referral centre for retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for men with testicular cancer. Finally, we regularly collaborate with our General Surgery colleagues and gynaecologists (from the neighboring KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital) to perform complex pelvic oncology surgeries.

In terms of state-of-the-art cancer diagnostics, we were the first in the region to provide magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-fusion transrectal prostate biopsy for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. As part of our well-rounded care for cancer patients, we formed the TTSH Prostate Cancer Support Group in August 2011. This popular support group meets regularly and includes participants from other restructured hospitals in Singapore.

 

Endourology

We have a very high volume of urinary stones cases and our team offers a comprehensive suite of minimally-invasive treatments for our patients, including extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL), flexible ureterorenoscopy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) and laparoscopic ureterolithotomy.

We also pioneered supine PCNL in Singapore.

Since 2014, we were the first hospital in Singapore to utilise the 180-W XPS Greenlight laser for transurethral vaporization of the prostate (TUVP) for benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is an invaluable option for high-risk patients due to the lower bleeding risk and the fact that patients do not need to stop their anti-platelet and anti-coagulation treatments for surgery.

 

Andrology and Fertility

We have a dedicated complex erectile dysfunction (CED) clinic and also a sexual wellness clinic with occupational therapists and psychologists to help patients with sexual dysfunction.

We were also the first restructured hospital in Singapore to start the clinical service of low intensity extracorporeal shockwave treatment (LI-ESWT) for patients with erectile dysfunction.

In addition, we provide a full range of andrology surgeries including penile prosthesis surgery, surgery for Peyronie’s disease and microsurgical procedures such as varicocoelectomy and vasectomy reversals.

Finally, we run a regular subfertility clinic at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

 

Female urology, neuro-urology and reconstructive urology

Neuro-urology is one of the biggest strengths of our department and we collaborate closely with our rehabilitation medicine colleagues in a multi-disciplinary clinic at Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital focusing on patients with neurological problems, including spinal cord injury.

We also have a dedicated pelvic floor clinic for patients with functional urology and incontinence issues. Our multi-disciplinary team include fellowship-trained urologists, nurse clinicians and physiotherapists and provide a comprehensive one-stop service for the assessment and management of patients who need urodynamic evaluation and complex reconstructive surgery, including urethroplasty, minimally-invasive repair of vesico-vaginal fistula and incontinence surgery.

Education and training

The department is an active contributor to the training of local and regional urologists through the organisation of numerous conferences and workshops. These include:

  • Robotic Prostatectomy Expert Symposium (2011)
  • 2nd TTSH Robotic Prostate and Bladder Surgery Expert Symposium (2013)
  • Good Urodynamics Practice Course (2014)
  • 3rd TTSH Robotic Kidney Surgery Expert Symposium (2015)
  • 1st Advances in Endourology Symposium (2015)

Our high surgical volume, coupled with the strong institutional culture of teaching, has seen our department become a teaching centre for urologists from regional countries wishing to understudy the latest techniques in endourology and minimally invasive surgery via our minimally invasive fellowship programme.

We also have a strong residency programme with our residents regularly publishing in peer-reviewed journals and consistently winning awards at local examinations and conferences.



The demand for and complexity of urological healthcare in Singapore has rapidly risen and Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s D epartment of Urology stands ready to meet that need with the right people and skills. We will continue to invest our energies into developing and retaining the best talent to flourish in an inter-disciplinary and collaborative culture.

Please click the following links to learn more about the Felloship programmes

Tan Tock Seng Minimally Invasive Urology Fellowship

This is an intensive 1 year fellowship in minimally invasive urology with the fellow starting on the 1st of August for each calendar year.

The Fellow will work with all the attending consultant urologists in the Department of Urology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, who specialise in endourology and minimally invasive urologic surgery. 

Clinical responsibilities: 

  • The Fellow will be assigned sessions in the Operative Room and at the outpatient clinics, under the supervision of consultants. 
  • The Fellow will also be involved in the on-call roster with a 1:3-4 rota, under supervision.  
  • The Fellowship exposure includes all aspects of general urology, voiding dysfunction, prostate disease, uro-oncology, andrology and stone disease, with particular emphasis upon ureteroscopy (including flexible ureteroscopy), percutaneous surgery, laparoscopic kidney surgery, and laparoscopic prostate surgery. 
  • The program also includes exposure to DaVinci robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy on the daVinci S platform. 
  • The fellow will also be expected to undertake research projects in their area of interest.

Clinical Load for the department per year 

Robotic prostatectomies 35
Ureteroscopy 150
Percutaneous stone surgery 70
Laparoscopic nephrectomy 50
TURP 150
ESWL 200

THE FACULTY AND RESIDENTS

The department is staffed by 7 consultants, one associate consultant, and nine residents (five advanced specialty training registrars and four medical officers). 

TRAINING FACILITIES AND RESEARCH

A laparoscopic training laboratory is available for use by the residents and fellow.  The department is actively engaged in research and clinical trials, in which residents and fellows are strongly encouraged to participate. 

ACCOMMODATION

No on-campus housing is available. Tan Tock Seng Hospital is located in the Central district of Singapore, served by many public transportation routes and conveniently situated over a subway station.  Nearby off-campus accommodation at affordable market rates are available. 

APPLICATION PROCESS 

All applicants are to submit their curriculum vitae by 31 May for the year prior to starting the fellowship

Candidates will be short listed for interviews in June.

Final decision for the appointment of a fellow will be made in July of the year prior to starting the fellowship

Candidates must ensure that they satisfy the physician licensing regulations set by the Singapore Medical Council.

Contact

Adj A/Prof Lee Yee Mun
Fellowship Program Director,
Email: yee_mun_lee@ttsh.com.sg

Adj A/Prof Chong Yew Lam
Fellowship Program Co-Director,
Email: yew_lam_chong@ttsh.com.sg 


Clinical Fellowship in Basic Robotic Urological Surgery

This is a 6-month fellowship in basic robotic urological surgery targeted at local or regional urologists who wish to embark on robotic surgery in their practice. At the end of the training, the fellow will be familiar with the steps in common robotic urological procedures such as RARP and RAPN. With a comprehensive training program made up of online modules, dry lab training, bed-side assistance and console training on clinical cases, the fellow will be ready to embark on his own learning curve.

Training Components

The fellow will progress in a step-wise approach through the following modules:

  1. Online robotic surgery modules (1st month)
  2. Simulator-based and dry lab training on the console (1st month)
  3. Operating room observation (1st month)
  4. Operating room bedside assistant – two months (2nd-3rd months)
  5. Operating room bedside assistant with transition to modular console training (4th-6th months)

Clinical Duties

The fellow will with participate in all the robotic procedures in the department, including pre-op visits, case selection, peer discussions, post-op management and follow-up visits. The fellow will participate in the inpatient pre- and post-op management of patients who have undergone robotic surgery in the capacity of a junior consultant.

The fellow is also expected to participate in research projects in robotic or related laparoscopic surgery and produce at least one abstract and one publication. He will also participate in peer education of robotic surgery through resident teaching and case presentations.

Robotic procedures workload per year

RARP 50-60
RAPN 15-20
Robot-assisted nephroureterectomy 1-5
Robot-assisted pyeloplasty 1-5
Robot-assisted VVF repair 1-5
Robotic cystectomy <5

Faculty and residents

The department is staffed by 8 consultants and 2 associate consultants with full range of sub-specialists in uro-oncology, endourology, minimally invasive surgery, female urology, functional urology and andrology. The department is also the primary training site of the NHG Urology Residency Program, training between 2-6 residents at any one time.

Accommodation

No on-campus housing is available. Tan Tock Seng Hospital is located in the Central district of Singapore, served by many public transportation routes and conveniently situated over a subway station.  Nearby off-campus accommodation at affordable market rates are available. 

Application Process

All applicants are to submit their curriculum vitae to the fellowship director. Candidates will be short listed for interviews. Candidates must ensure that they satisfy the physician licensing regulations set by the Singapore Medical Council.

Co-Directors

Adjunct Asst Professor Keng-Siang PNG
Email: keng_siang_png@ttsh.com.sg  

Adjunct Asst Professor Yew-Lam CHONG
Email: yew_lam_chong@ttsh.com.sg 

Milestone and Achievements

  • 1970

    Dr Wong Nan Eong performs the first TURP in Singapore 

  • 1993

    Urology Unit formed under the Department of General Surgery 

  • 1996

    A/Prof Chia Sing Joo performed Singapore's first radical perineal prostatectomy
    and TTSH launches Singapore's first Video Urodynamic Study Programme
     

  • 2000

    Introduction of the Siemens-Modularis Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotriptor (ESWL)  

  • 2001

    Successfully demonstration of ureteroscopic lithotripsy as a viable ambulatory day procedure 

  • 2002

    Dr James Tan performed first laparoscopic radical nephrectomy in Singapore 

  • 2003

    Dr James Tan performed first laparoscopic radical prostatectomy in Singapore 

  • 2004

    First use of Holmium laser for more effective ureteroscopic lithotripsy 

    Collaboration with Johns Hopkins Singapore-International Medical Centre (JHS-IMC) for multi-disciplinary urologic oncology management of hospitalised patients 

  • 2007

    Official formation of TTSH Department of Urology as an independent specialty under A/Prof Chia Sing Joo 

  • 2008

    Dr Toh Khai Lee takes over headship of the department 

  • 2010

    Dr Chong Yew Lam assumed headship of Department of Urology  

    Robotic Prostatectomy Programme launched. Dr Chong Yew Lam assumed Chairman of Robotic Surgery Committee  

  • 2011

    Formation of TTSH Prostate Cancer Support Group 

  • 2012

    Achieved 100th successful cases under TTSH Robotic Prostatectomy Programme 

 
 
 

Significant milestones in our development include:

  • the introduction of the Siemens Modularis Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotriptor (ESWL) in 2000
  • spearheading laparoscopic procedures from 2002 onwards e.g. performing the first laparoscopic radical prostatectomy in Singapore by Dr James Tan in 2003
  • introduction of the Holmium laser for ureteroscopic lithotripsy and retrograde intrarenal surgery; and our current partnership with the Johns Hopkins Institute (Singapore) in 2004, whose medical and radio-oncologic expertise permits us to provide seamless care to patients with urologic cancers.

Other accolades include:

  • A/Prof Chia Sing Joo performing the first radical perineal prostatectomy in Singapore in 1996
  • the Unit opening the first dedicated male erectile dysfunction clinic and library in 1998
  • successfully demonstrating ureteroscopic lithotripsy as a viable ambulatory day procedure in 2001.