The cystoscope is perhaps the most significant of all contributions of urology to medicine. The cystoscope is a thin, lighted instrument used to look inside the bladder and remove tissue samples or small tumors. Paving the way for endoscopy and laparoscopy, the cystoscope remains one of the major ways physician use to look into the human body. Learn more about the history of cystoscopy.
The Didusch Center has nearly 600 cystoscopes—ranging from a replica of the pre-cystoscopy candle-fueled Lichtleiter (developed in the 1800s by Philip Bozzini) to modern-day flexible, fiber-optic models.
The resectoscope is an instrument that is inserted through the urethra and used to cut out tissue while allowing the physician to see exactly where he is cutting. Urologists routinely use resectoscopes to remove bladder tumors and to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The Didusch Center has been collecting resectoscopes since 1971.
Inserted through a small incision, the laparoscope is a camera that allows the surgeon to see inside the human body. Once the interior is scrutinized, the surgeon can then place additional ports through which he or she can insert instruments for operating. As the laparoscopic camera and instruments require only small incisions, patients benefit from decreased blood loss and post operative pain.
The Didusch Center's collection of laparoscopic instruments began with a single donation in 1998 and has grown to nearly 60 instruments.
Stone disease has existed since ancient times. During the Middle Ages, lithotomy—the practice of "cutting for the stone"—flourished in Europe. While the practice seems barbaric in today's world, it paved the way for modern-day stone treatment. The evolution of lithotomy and stone treatment has been vast. The Didusch Center's collection of instruments for stone removal clearly illustrates how far medicine has evolved in treating this painful disorder. The collection ranges from medieval stone knives to modern-day treatments.
Since the beginning of time, patients with acute urinary retention have relied on tube-like materials to empty their bladders. Ancient Chinese history indicates that onion stalks may have been used for catheterization, and Mediterranean civilizations described tubes of wood and precious metals to drain urine. Today, catheters are used in many specialties—primarily to inject fluid or to drain it—and considered one of civilization's first therapeutic instruments.
The Didusch Center boasts a collection of catheters ranging from a replica of the silver-coil catheter developed by founding father Benjamin Franklin to 19th century catheters concealed in hat bands and canes to modern day Foley catheters.
Microscope examination continues to be a major tool in the physician's diagnostic arsenal. Since its creation in 1595, the microscope has allowed physicians to understand the world beyond the naked eye. This has enabled an understanding of disease on a cellular level and unlocked the mysteries of microorganisms. Urologists use microscopes to examine the urine, checking for absence or presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, casts and bacteria.
One of the most treasured collections in the Didusch Center is the Reuter Collection of microscopes, a donation from Hans Reuter in 1995. The collection ranges from single lens instruments to multi-lens varieties, and is displayed prominently in the Didusch Center for Urologic History at AUA headquarters.
Implants & Prostheses
The history of erectile dysfunction is probably as old as mankind. Ancient remedies included pharmaceutical agents such as wine, ginseng, and mineral water as well as more aggressive treatments such as flagellation. Meaningful treatments for erectile dysfunction (ED) have only come in the past 50 years. Prior to the late 1960s, there was no effective treatment for this condition. Until the late 1990s, patients suffering from this disorder relied on implants for proper function. Prostheses and implants today are secondary to pharmaceutical remedies for patients with erectile dysfunction, but remain in use for patients who don't respond to drugs.
The Didusch Center's collection ranges from the "Heidelberg Belt" (an electrical shocking treatment) to the inflatable penile prosthesis to pharmaceutical impotence treatments.
Rainer Engel, MD
Jennifer Gordetsky, MD