Urologists across Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf Coast refer their patients to Touro urologist, Dr. Richard Vanlangendonck, because of his unique sub-specialty experience: he’s performed over 3,000 robotic urologic surgeries. Part of Dr. Vanlangendonck’s expertise is evident in how he treats his patients. “If a patient is more involved and understands his problem,” said Dr. Vanlangendonck, “he tends to be more compliant and will feel more comfortable with his treatment. This all translates to a happier patient.”
Tell me about your practice.
My sub-specialty is treatment of kidney and prostate cancers, but within my group, there is also a urologist who specializes in female incontinence and another who focuses on more advanced urologic cancers. Between the three of us, we treat all aspects of urology, including female and male incontinence, erectile dysfunction and stone disease.
How do you make patients feel comfortable?
Urologic issues can be sensitive, and I find that speaking as a friend would, rather than as a superior, goes a long way toward making a patient feel comfortable. For cancer discussions, I encourage patients to invite their loved ones so that everyone involved understands what we’re dealing with, and I do my best to make sure patients leave reassured and informed, feeling like all of their questions were answered.
How did you choose your specialty?
During medical school I did a rotation in urology. It appealed to me because it was a procedure-oriented specialty that had the right combination of surgery and medicine.
Can you tell me a bit about your fellowship?
I trained in robotic and laparoscopic surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. These types of minimally invasive approaches were new in urology, and I wanted to be sure I could offer my patients the best care available. In this case, patients benefit from less pain and scarring and a shorter hospital stay. They also recover much faster than they would from traditional surgical approaches.
How have you applied what you learned in your practice?
I typically perform three to four robotic surgeries a day under Touro’s da Vinci Surgery Program. Using this method, I can treat prostate and kidney cancers and perform urinary reconstructive procedures.
What do you like most about your job?
Urology is a unique surgical specialty because we treat medical problems of the urinary tract as well as surgical problems. As far as the technical aspects go, I like the precision involved in performing such delicate surgeries. On the interpersonal level, I like developing long-term relationships with my patients.
Besides robotic and minimally invasive surgery, what advances have changed your practice?
For treatment of prostate cancer, we now use MRI imaging to better determine where the cancer is within the prostate and how to precisely map out the surgical procedure so that the risk of leaving any of the cancer behind is reduced. There are also many new treatments for advanced prostate, kidney and bladder cancers that allow patients to live longer.
Are you from New Orleans originally? What do you do in your free time?
I’m from Alexandria, but I’ve been in New Orleans since I came to do my residency at Ochsner in 1992. In my free time, I hunt and fish, and I travel around the country to participate in marathons and triathlons.
3434 Prytania St., Suite 450
New Orleans, LA 70115
LSU School of Medicine/Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation, New Orleans, LA
General Surgery, 1998
Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Urological Laparoscopy and Minimally Invasive Surgery, 2003
Prostate and Kidney Cancers
“Help patients understand their disease so they can make confident, informed decisions about treatment.”