By MELANIE KILGORE-HILL
Urologist Nirmal Kilambi is bringing integrative care and novel therapies to patients in Northwest Arkansas
Nirmal K. Kilambi, MD, FACS, is changing the landscape of integrative healthcare in Northwest Arkansas - a place the board-certified urologist has called home since birth.
Finding his place
A native of Fayetteville, Kilambi graduated from Fayetteville High School before receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas. After earning his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock, he completed a urology residency at the University of Mississippi in 2001. Kilambi’s love for medicine was driven by his late parents - Indian immigrants whose passion for education continues to inspire the couple’s three sons. His father, zoology professor Raj Kilambi, PhD, was a faculty member in the University of Arkansas’s Department of Biological Sciences for 35 years, while his mother, Jaya, received a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's in counseling at the University of Arkansas, eventually retiring from the University’s David W. Mullins Library.
“I knew in elementary school that I wanted to be a doctor,” Kilambi said. “In medical school I wanted a surgical subspecialty, and found urology to be very diverse, from using different camera scopes to performing major cancer surgery such as curing prostate, kidney and bladder cancers,” he said. “Pelvic anatomy is generally a smaller working space full of major vessels providing challenging, and a variety of interesting procedures.”
After practicing in Hot Springs, Kilambi returned home in 2007 to join Northwest Arkansas Urology Associates as partner. His numerous local, state and national appointments have included Governing Board Member of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and official urologist for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Kilambi, who’s been in private practice since 2001, also has served in a variety of positions including Chief of Urology and Chief of Surgery at a number of hospitals during his 20-year career.
He is a current board member for the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation, where he also serves on the Medical Advisory committee. As a private practice physician, Kilambi maintains privileges at seven regional medical facilities including WRMC, Northwest and Mercy Health Systems.
The Process of Developing Services
At Northwest Arkansas Urology Associates, Kilambi oversees strategic planning, clinic operations, financial decision analysis and negotiation efforts, in addition to seeing patients from his Springdale and Rogers offices alongside partners Chad Brekelbaum, MD, Braedon J. Collins, MD, and Jason Hurt, MD, FACOG, FPMRS. The team operates satellite offices in Eureka Springs, Siloam Springs and Grove, Oklahoma.
In 2021, Kilambi became the first physician in Arkansas to receive the Surgeon of Excellence designation for GreenLight™ laser therapy, a minimally invasive treatment to remove overgrown prostate tissue. He also has specialized training in the da Vinci® robotic surgery system and uses minimally invasive techniques to perform stone surgery through percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), and ureteroscopy.
Kilambi offers Coloplast and Boston Scientific penile implants and treats urinary incontinence in women through a wide range of procedures, including the Obtryx™ sling system. He uses complex urodynamics diagnostically for complex urinary incontinence to specifically address the patient’s pathology. He utilizes neuromodulation surgery using both Medtronics InterStim™ and the Axonics™ systems.
“Urology is an ever-changing field, and years ago we never knew robotics would impact it so much,” he said, citing robotics as the industry’s most significant advancement in decades. “Urologists were among the first to use robotics and were early implementers in using the minimally invasive technique for complex surgeries,” he said. “When we get into the deep, bony pelvis, especially for prostate cancer surgery, the technology is far superior to open surgery, and patients typically are released from the hospital the next day.”
A pioneer for medical advances, Kilambi, along with his partners, was among the first in the state to create a pelvic health clinic for patients suffering from incontinence, pelvic floor issues, pelvic pain, urinary tract infections and sexual dysfunction.
Finding Better Options and Outcomes
Kilambi’s multimodal, integrative approach to patient health fueled his determination to provide more options – and better outcomes – for urology patients. In 2019, he launched Arkansas Biomechanics & Rehabilitation – a product of his interest in musculoskeletal mobility, fitness, and health and wellness.
“So many patients complain that their backs hurt, and assume it’s related to kidney stones,” he explained. “Too often we as urologists often fail to address their musculoskeletal needs.”
Under the care of his business partner, chiropractor Mitchell Gibson, DC, patients perform postural corrective exercises to build a foundation and utilize Functional Movement Systems to fine tune exercises specific to the individual for strength and stability.
“Good doctors integrate all disease processes, and back and axial skeletal movement is key to living a healthy life,” Kilambi said.
Arkansas Biomechanics and Rehabilitation also offers pelvic floor therapy with physical therapist Kelly Cross, PT, DPT, CAPP.
Kilambi talks to patients, including men with erectile dysfunction and women with pelvic floor problems, about the benefits of healthy diets – combined with therapy – to improve overall health.
“Unless they understand how it’s all connected they can’t better themselves, and we as physicians do them a disservice if we don’t bring those things up,” he said.
A growing community
As a business owner and physician, Kilambi is committed to delivering holistic, innovative services to patients in Northwest Arkansas.
“I enjoy doing a variety of things, both in business and in medicine,” he said. “Creating a business is a process-driven endeavor, but once you put in the hard work it just starts coming together. Successful leadership includes competence, kindness and respect. Giving employees the tools to be successful creates a true team atmosphere and loyalty to the cause and organization.”
As a husband and a father of three, Kilambi still enjoys life in his hometown, where the medical community continues to grow exponentially.
“Northwest Arkansas offers an exceptional quality of life, and I’m thankful that at Northwest Arkansas Urology Associates patients can receive superior and cutting-edge urological treatment,” he said.