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Doctor of the Month – Dr. Shatagopam

Get to Know Dr. Kashyap Shatagopam

How and why did you become a urologist?

Growing up, I was surrounded by family members who are in the field of medicine, and my father is a cardiologist. While in medical school, I realized that I like to be very hands-on, so surgical subspecialties were appealing to me. I did a Urology rotation and loved the diversity of the field. It could range from treating benign conditions to malignant cancers. I also liked that it was technology heavy with novel and unique approaches to truly help people.

I completed my residency at Indiana University, which has earned international center of excellence for testicular cancer.  I was exposed to high-level people like Dr. Larry Einhorn, who pioneered chemotherapy regimens for testicular cancer and treated Lance Armstrong. I also had the opportunity to train under Dr. James Lingeman, who was the first urologist in the country to perform a HoLEP (holmium laser enucleation of the prostate) procedure which uses laser technology to treat patients with an enlarged prostate. Being around highly trained individuals who are leaders in their field attracted me to Urology even more as I knew I could learn so much and truly make a difference for my patients.

What is an average day like for you?

Usually, in a week, I spend about three to three and a half days in the clinic where we’re seeing patients with various issues, which can be as simple as a urinary tract infection or as complex as prostate or kidney cancer that requires robotic surgery. The other day and a half is typically in the operating room, which is a diverse mix of surgical procedures, both inpatient and outpatient. 

I spend a lot of time seeing a diverse population of patients, a lot of whom are males with BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlarged prostate), and I probably average three or four HoLEP procedures in a week. It’s minimally invasive and can have great success, especially in patients who are catheter-dependent or have very large prostates. Suddenly, they can live without a catheter after surgery. It’s a huge improvement in their emotional state and quality of life. That is extremely rewarding.

What is your favorite part of working in urology?

I think there are many different aspects that are very rewarding. In many ways, we can truly help patients improve their quality of life, so they can do daily things and not worry about it, like go to restaurants and play pickleball. 

Then, on the completely opposite end of the spectrum, I work with cancer patients. Some forms are quite aggressive, and others are less so. I do robotic surgery for prostate and kidney cancer, and the goal is to treat patients appropriately and help them live long, fulfilling lives. We counsel patients to ideally find issues early, in hopes that we can truly make a positive impact on their longer-term cancer outcomes. Making a difference is one of my favorite parts of urology.

What is your approach to patient care? 

When I see a patient, I want to make them feel comfortable. I want to get an understanding of what’s going on with them, what’s causing their issues, and what their frustrations are. 

They can confide in me as their urologist. In terms of counseling them, I’d like to do for them just as I would do for a family member, like my father, grandfather or uncle. When I put it that way, I think it helps them be at ease and be comfortable with the decision that we come to because I’m not making the decision for them. It’s a shared decision. We discuss all our options and come up with a decision together

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love spending time with my wife, Shivani Chaudhary, and our beautiful 17-month-old daughter, Ahana. My wife is currently in training to be a nurse practitioner, so we stay quite busy, but we really enjoy our time in Austin. We moved here in the fall of 2020. Before we had our baby, we spent a lot of time outdoors, hiking with our two dogs and paddleboarding. We still love to get out and explore Austin whenever we get a chance. I also like to play tennis. 

One of our favorite things to do is travel, which we both really enjoy, and we recently did a safari trip to Kenya. Overall, landing in Austin has been a great experience for us. Everyone at Urology Austin has been supportive, and I love feeling like I can make a difference. 

Read more about Dr. Shatagopam here.

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