I am a 50 YO male from Southern California. I suffered a straddle injury (riding a bike) when I was about 7 or 8 years old, and never knew I had an issue until I was in my late teens/early 20’s when I suffered an inability to void. I saw a urologist who asked me if I had any recent injuries to the area and I told him I had no. I completely forgot about the childhood straddle injury and never really gave it much thought until later in life as the problem persisted. Anyway, I was told I likely had a stricture, but no definitive tests were conducted until later in my early 30’s after I came down with a severe UTI. I went in for a cystoscopy and the doctor could not get through the stricture. I ended up in the hospital for several days, and they eventually were able to get a pediatric catheter in me, and then later conducted a direct visual internal cystoscopy (DVIU). This temporarily opened the stricture, but ultimately it caused more damage to me by creating more scar tissue. I was told about the external urethroplasty surgery options, and that I would have to find a specialist of which there were few. My other option was to continue with regular dilation over the course of my life to keep it open. I opted for the frequent dilations. I travelled the world with my job, and lived with the problem. I found urologists wherever I was, showed them my medical records and, went through with the dilations (both Van Buren sounds in the office, and under anesthesia with cystoscope balloon dilators). I did not know it then, but these procedures caused the stricture to worsen. I had severe bleeding several days after the balloon dilation. This landed me in the hospital for a few days, and with a Foley catheter for a total of two weeks. This happened while I lived overseas in the 2007 time-frame. I stopped the dilations after that event and moved back to the United States. I did some research and found Dr. Gelman, as well as several other surgeons on the East Coast where I lived at the time. Being from Southern California I figured I would see Dr. Gelman when I returned to So Cal for a visit. In 2014, I moved back to So Cal and saw Dr. Gelman. He conducted a thorough exam and precisely identified the location and length of my stricture. I explained my history, gave him a copy of medical records, and we talked at length about my options. It was clear to me he was a confident and experienced surgeon, who also possessed superb interpersonal skills. I decided to undergo the surgery. I experienced challenges with my PPO insurance. They did not cover much of my first appointment/tests with Dr. Gelman and I was hit with a rather large bill. I then decided not to undergo the surgery because I feared I could not afford the out of pocket cost. I spoke with Denise, Dr. Gelman’s office manager, about this problem and she engaged on it for me. She asked if I would speak to Dr. Gelman about my financial concerns. Dr. Gelman called me and we discussed costs and options if my insurance paid some, all, or nothing for the procedure. He offered me a very manageable proposal in the event my insurance refused to pay. This put me at ease and I decided to go through with the surgery. Ultimately my insurance covered most of the procedure, as well as they revisited my dispute with them regarding my first appointment with Dr. Gelman (which they ultimately paid). This was due to Denise and Dr. Gelman’s communication with my insurance company. So, the end result was I had the urethroplasty with a buccal mucosa graft for a 4cm anterior bulbar stricture. Dr. Gelman performed the surgery and his Fellow (Dr. Eric Wisenbaugh) assisted. I am five weeks post-op as of this writing, and I am extremely pleased with the results. The recovery is no walk in the park, but I was frontloaded with information from Dr. Gelman and Dr. Wisenbaugh regarding what to expect and what to do. All has gone accoridng to plan. I had a three day stay at the UC Irvine Hospital. The staff there was exceptional. Many of the nurses had previously cared for Dr. Gelman’s patients, so they knew the care protocol. Like many before me, I regret I waited for all those years to have the surgery. I feared the outcome, the recovery, the trauma, and I was apprehensive about finding the right surgeon. Dr. Gelman clearly dominates this sub-specialty. My ability to urinate freely and forcefully feels miraculous. I am happy Dr. Gelman is training urologists like Dr. Wisenbaugh to master this sub-specialty. If you are considering having this done, I urge you to consult with Dr. Gelman. He is a peer recognized expert in the field. My life has changed for the better & I understand why patients come to him from all over the world. I encourage patients to visit the website www.centerforreconstructiveurology.org and view the patient videos. Find your problem, and then watch a video. It will let you know your problem is not unique and give you hope.
Best medical experience. So professional. Surgery went very well. Always followed up after each appointment. Wonderful. Truly wish we would have found him sooner. My husband suffered for 8 years and countless other urologists. So thankful for Dr Gelman and Denise plus the entire staff! We traveled for this surgery and we literally could not have asked for a better experience.
The reason Dr Gelman is amazing is the quality of his work, care, and attention to detail. For me that was the most important. However in addition, Dr Gelman and his staff surprisingly made the entire experience "pain free". My expectation of reconstructive surgery and memories of my first surgery as a child was that pain would be involved. Dr Gelman's staff is incredible starting with Denise. Throughout all of my appointments, Dr Gelman and his staff were always on time and thorough. Dr Gelman is honest and sets the appropriate expectations. I give Dr Gelman and his staff my highest recommendation. The reconstructive surgery he performed changed my life! I feel so lucky to have found him. I wish every doctor performed at the same level as Dr Gelman. He is the benchmark for the best in the medical field.
I suffered my adult life with a urethral structure. Dr. Gelman reconstructed my urethra. Dr. Gelman did, what no other surgeon could do. I had several failed reconstruction surgeries in the past by Dr's that should not have been attempting such procedures. Dr. Gelman's skill, confidence, knowledge, and ability is second to none. I cannot put my suffering into words. I've had many infections. Septic blood infections caused by catheters by treatment by incapable Drs., Claiming to know what they're doing. I've had long stays in the hospital fighting sepsis with IV antibiotics. I wish I found Dr. Gelman years sooner than I did. I did not suffer or have pain at all under Dr. Gelmans care. I prayed to God for a Miracle and God answered me with Dr. Gelman. Dr. Gelman improved my quality of life. I can never thank Dr. Gelman enough. If You, or a Loved one is suffering with a urethral problem, please do not let another surgeon attempt to operate, gain experience, or learn at your expense.
In the spring of 2013, I acquired a bladder neck contracture following robotic prostate surgery. My urologist’s approach to treatment included painful dilations of the bladder neck and trips to the emergency room when that didn’t work. I called Dr. Gelman for an evaluation. Following the evaluation Dr. Gelman explained that he wanted to perform a bladder neck incision. His confidence in the procedure gave me the trust that I needed to go forward. Two weeks later I had the surgery. Since the surgery, my bladder neck contracture has been cured without causing problems with incontinence. I feel that the cost of the surgery was reasonable and clearly explained to me. For these reasons, I would like to recommend Dr. Gelman and his staff to anyone who is having complications following prostate surgery. If you don’t feel confident in your doctor’s approach, give Dr. Gelman a call or leave him a message on his website. You won’t regret it.
A prostate operaton in Jan 2012 by local urologist had made me suffer from a urethral stricture. In June 2012, Dr Gelman fixed the stricture gave me and my family back a new life again. Now I can urinate freely like a fire hose when the signal comes. The flow is even much better than ever. I drove a few hundred miles from Northern California down to Orange for the first visit. I was impressed with Dr. Gelman’s professional attitude. I could feel it that he didn’t rush me into an operation like my local doctors did. Instead, he showed great care and thoroughly explained the significance of timing about my case for the reconstruction - a 7 cm stricture. Dr Gelman can do magic. There has been no pain at all during the whole process starting from the pre-op cystocscopy to the completion of the surgery. The only exception is the tissue taken out on my inner cheek for grafting.Patients who are searching for the best doctor to fix urethral disease should contact Dr. Gelman. I highly recommend him and his professional team members.
Dr. Joel Gelman is in a class of his own. He saved my 19 year old son from a lifetime misery after performing the surgery. No other doctors gave him any hope. Dr. Gelman not only gave him hope but gave my son MF his life back. View the video library and see the first video up of MF. I want all of you to know MF and his entire family can not thank him enough for his care. This man is a superior doctor. Don't listen to that sham review, it's totally bs. PF
Dr. Joel Gelman's Credentials
Accepting New Patients
Yes, this doctor is accepting new patients
- Med Coll Of Ohio, Toledo Oh 43699 (Grad. 1989)
Areas of Expertise
Awards & Recognitions
Publications & Research
Insurance accepted by this Doctor
- Coventry Health Care
A new 5-star rating has been posted. "I am a 50 YO male from Southern California. I suffered a straddle injury (riding a bike) when I was about 7 or 8 years old, and never knew I had an issue until..."October 21, 2015
A new 5-star rating has been posted. "Best medical experience. So professional. Surgery went very well. Always followed up after each appointment. Wonderful. Truly wish we would have found him soone..."October 15, 2015
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