Meet Urologist Dr. Nicholas Franco MD

California, Los Angeles, 9th April 2024, ZEX PR WIRE, Dr. Nicholas Franco MD is a retired urologist with a career that spanned different geographies, from Montreal, New Orleans, to Southwest Florida. With dual citizenship in Canada and the USA, he began his academic journey at McGill University, earning degrees in Human and Renal Physiology before completing his MD at the University of Montreal. Dr. Franco’s expertise was refined through postgraduate training, including residencies in General Surgery at McGill and Urology at the University of Toronto, along with specialized fellowships in Urogynecology and Pelvic Floor Reconstruction at LSU and  a Mini Fellowship in Advanced Urologic Laparoscopic Surgery at UC Irvine. His impactful career included significant academic roles, notably as Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at Tulane University and contributions to fellowship programs at LSU. Beyond academia, Dr. Franco served as a consultant to industry leaders such as J&J, Medtronics, and Boston Scientific. He shared his expertise globally as a visiting professor, imparting knowledge to universities and surgical centers across Europe. Dr. Franco’s commitment to advancing urological care is evidenced by his numerous peer-reviewed publications and presentations at major conferences worldwide. Recognized with prestigious awards for teaching excellence and medical contributions, Dr. Franco’s legacy of excellence will endure despite his retirement. He left a mark on the medical community and the countless lives he has touched throughout his distinguished career.

  • Throughout your career, you held significant academic positions and contributed to various fellowship programs. Could you share a pivotal teaching moment that stands out to you, where you felt you made a significant impact on the future generation of urologists?

That would be when a struggling resident grasped a complex urological concept after my tailored approach. Witnessing that ‘aha’ moment reaffirmed my commitment to mentorship. I knew that I had what it takes to help grow a new generation of high-quality urologists capable of delivering exceptional care. 

  • You have been in the field for long? What are the most common symptoms and causes of urinary incontinence, and what treatment options are available? 

From my experience, urinary incontinence symptoms include sudden urges to urinate, leakage, and frequent urination. Causes vary from weakened pelvic floor muscles to nerve damage. There are several treatment options for this, and range from pelvic floor exercises, medications, and in severe cases, surgical interventions like sling procedures or bladder neck suspension.  What is chosen is usually dependent on the extent of the problem.

  • With your extensive experience in urology, particularly in urinary incontinence and pelvic floor reconstruction, what technological advancements or innovations do you foresee shaping the future of urological care?

Based on my experience, I believe that innovations like minimally invasive procedures and personalized medicine hold immense potential. Embracing these advancements while prioritizing patient-centric care, in my view, would ensure optimal outcomes and enhance the overall urological practice.

  • Most Urologists I have interviewed in the past have touched on Interstitial Cysts. From your experience, what are the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for interstitial cystitis (IC)? 

Yes, IC is one of the issues that every urologist has dealt with at some point. Most common IC symptoms include chronic pelvic pain, frequent urination, and bladder pressure. The exact cause is unknown but I noted that it may involve inflammation or bladder lining defects. Some of the treatments that we have used in the past include medications to alleviate symptoms, bladder instillations, and dietary modifications.

  • Experts predict cancers will keep rising in coming years as people live longer. Could you elaborate on the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment approaches for testicular cancer? 

Absolutely. Testicular cancer symptoms include painless swelling or lumps in the testicles, discomfort in the scrotum, and back pain. Among the risk factors to consider include undescended testicle and family history.  Depending on the stage and type of cancer, treatment options can range from surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. 

  • You’ve been recognized with prestigious awards for medical teaching excellence. Can you describe your approach to mentoring and educating medical students and residents, and how it has evolved throughout your career?

My approach to medical education centers on building critical thinking and clinical acumen. Over time, I’ve evolved my teaching methodologies to embrace interactive learning and mentorship. Engaging students and residents in active dialogue helped me cultivate a deeper understanding of urology and prepared them for future challenges.

  • As a visiting professor, you’ve shared your expertise at various universities and surgical centers globally. Could you share a memorable experience or encounter during one of your international lectureships that left a lasting impression on you?

Lecturing internationally gave me amazing cross-cultural insights. One of my most memorable experiences involved collaborating with European counterparts, and exchanging diverse perspectives on urological care. This global dialogue not only enriched my understanding but also reinforced the universality of medical challenges and the importance of collaborative solutions. I would encourage Urologists to keep up with this spirit of collaboration. 

  • Your research has contributed significantly to the understanding and treatment of urinary incontinence and pelvic floor disorders. What inspired you to focus your efforts on these particular areas of urology, and what advancements do you hope to see in the future?

I would say it is a deep passion for my work. Passion for advancing urological care led me to strongly focus on urinary incontinence and pelvic floor disorders. I found that these areas to urology demand interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative solutions. While I am now retired, I hope to see enhanced treatment modalities and improved quality of life for patients through ongoing research and clinical innovation.

  • Serving as a medical consultant to industry leaders, you’ve likely witnessed the intersection of medicine and technology firsthand. How do you navigate the balance between innovation and patient care, ensuring that technological advancements enhance rather than overshadow clinical practice?

I usually handled this by collaborating with industry leaders to ensure technologies augment rather than replace human expertise. Integrating innovation responsibly, in my view, ensures optimal patient outcomes and maintains the integrity of medical practice.

  • Throughout your career, you’ve presented scientific research at major conferences worldwide. Can you share pivotal research finding or project that challenged conventional wisdom or significantly impacted urological practice?

That would be the novel treatment modalities for urinary incontinence and advancements in pelvic floor reconstruction. These discoveries have helped drive continuous improvement in patient care and shape the future of urology. I am happy to have been part of that, and hope new generations of Urologists can build up on the same for a better future. 

  • As you transition into retirement, what aspects of your career in urology do you find most fulfilling, and what legacy do you hope to leave behind in the field?

The biggest fulfillment of my career lies in the impact on patients’ lives and the contributions to advancing urological care. As I enjoy my retirement, I am happy that I left behind a legacy of compassionate patient care, mentorship excellence, and meaningful contributions to the field that will endure for decades to come.

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