Interview with Dr. Michael Hsieh, M.D., Ph.D.

Updated: Aug 18, 2019

Meet Dr. Michael Hsieh! Dr. Hsieh is a pediatric urology specialist in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hsieh specializes in bladder diseases affecting children and young adults and is part of the ICA board of directors.

Dr. Hsieh works at Children’s National Medical Center as Director of Transitional Urology in Washington, DC. Dr. Hsieh runs a NIH-funded bladder biology research group and is developing a broader microbiology research program across multiple laboratories.

He has been featured several times in the New York Times for his work in robotic surgery and bladder inflammation.

What inspired you to specialize in pediatric urology?

I knew from an early age that I liked surgery, and the idea of fixing children's congenital anomalies was very appealing. The first urologic operation I saw as a medical student was bladder surgery in a child with urinary reflux, and I thought it was amazing - I was hooked!

Tell us about your unique research work at Children's National Medical Center?

I study the naturally occurring microbiome (the bacteria and other microbes in and on our bodies in states of health and disease), and how the presence of non-pathogenic bacteria may prevent urinary tract infections. I also head a research group focused on bladder inflammation, UTI and bladder cancer.

How do you address chronic and re-current cystitis in your patients?

I am very careful about labeling patients with IC, I think a lot have occult UTI with difficult to culture organisms. By utilizing more accurate testing methods we are able to identify pathogens in many cases and develop appropriate treatment.

I believe in personalized medicine for UTI, in the sense that each patient's UTIs are different and each patient is at a different place. Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention should be tailored accordingly, and take into account patient preferences and the pros and cons of various approaches.

My UTI prevention recommendations include scientific data-based probiotics, certain cranberry products, d-mannose, antibiotics, and hormonal treatments.

What new tests are available to detect in previously undetectable infections?

I take a multi-pronged approach to diagnosing, treating, and preventing UTIs. For example, I complement conventional urine testing with microbiome-based techniques that are very sensitive and can detect UTI-causing bacteria that don’t always grow out using conventional urine culture methods.

We see there are various scientific studies on the effectiveness of D-Mannose. Are you interested in conducting your own research study?

Yes, I am interested in studying D-Mannose.

What is the role of D-Mannose in helping to prevent urinary issues?

I think D-Mannose has the potential to prevent UTI-causing E. Coli from sticking to the lining of the bladder.

Thank you Dr. Hsieh for your time and for the vital work you do for your patients.

Dr. Michael Hsieh, M.D., Ph.D.

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