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Longstanding Urologist Aids Veterans

Innovations in Urology - Spring 2018

Donald Bodner, MD


Urologist, UH Urology Institute; Professor of Surgery, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Donald Bodner, MD, has practiced as a urologist at University Hospitals longer than any of his peers, joining the healthcare system after completing his residency in 1984. “I’ve seen an evolution in technology in many areas, from laser procedures to robotic surgery,” he says. “And UH has been at the forefront of these advancements.” Dr. Bodner has contributed to the field, most notably through his work on bladder management for patients with spinal cord injury. 

Shortly after joining University Hospitals, Dr. Donald Bodner also began treating patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. The center’s Spinal Cord Injury System of Care provides high-quality healthcare services to veterans, ranging from acute rehabilitation to follow-up and long-term care.

“We’ve seen marked improvement over the years in urologic management of the bladder in the SCI population,” says Dr. Bodner. “Originally, one of the leading causes of death for SCI patients was kidney issues. That is very infrequently seen today because of better management of the neurogenic bladder to minimize infections and morbidity.”

Patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction due to spinal cord injury run the risk of incontinence, urinary tract infections, kidney stones and renal impairment. Through the years, Dr. Bodner has improved the quality of life for SCI patients through a variety of treatments, including anticholinergic medication and endoscopic procedures. As a member of the Urology Surgical Advisory Board within the National Surgery Office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, he advises on urology issues throughout the VA system.

Dr. Bodner also has served as a clinical collaborator on several research projects with Case Western Reserve University’s Biomedical Engineering Department and the Cleveland FES Center, studying ways to use functional electrical stimulation to prevent overactive bladder. He is respected in the SCI field and currently is the associate editor of “The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine,” having previously served as editor-in-chief for nearly a decade.

“Over the years, it has been very rewarding to see the progress that’s been made,” says Dr. Bodner. “I have a lot of respect for SCI patients, looking at the obstacles they have overcome and the significant contributions they make to society. I want to keep my patients healthy so they can continue to lead fulfilling lives.”

In addition to his work with spinal cord patients, Dr. Bodner also focuses on general urology and endourology. “Stones are an area I’ve enjoyed working in, especially with the advent of new technologies,” he says. Dr. Bodner frequently performs ureteroscopy with lasers for incision-free removal or breaking up of kidney stones.

Despite his 34-year tenure in the Urology Institute at University Hospitals, Dr. Bodner doesn’t rest on his laurels. He continually interacts with and learns from his peers, as well as UH residents. “It’s been a true privilege to work with the outstanding residents we’ve had over the years, many of whom are now colleagues in the department. It keeps you on your toes and requires you to stay current in the field,” says Dr. Bodner. “To see our residents evolve has been one of the real highlights of my career.”


For more information about the services Dr. Bodner can provide to your patients or to make a referral, please call 216-844-3009.