What to know about Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction, also commonly referred to as ED, is the inability for a man to maintain an erection for sexual activity. Although it can be an embarrassing subject to talk about, it is very common. Fifty percent of men over the age of 50 experience some degree of ED. It is important to know that there are plenty of treatment options available. As Luis Camacho, PA explains, “We have several patients with erectile dysfunction, and we can be very helpful with treatment and procedures.”

Luis Camacho, PA of Fort Myers, FLA man experiencing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction can make an appointment to discuss the issue with his urologist. A conversation about the patient’s medical history and symptoms can usually lead to an in-office diagnosis. Once diagnosed, and it is determined that the patient is healthy enough for sexual activity, the urologist and patient can discuss treatment options. Many patients find themselves surprised by the number of treatment options available to them.

The most common and familiar treatment for ED is medication. Pills are easy to take and highly effective in many cases. For this reason, most urologists start treating ED by prescribing one of the many pill options available. Another simple option is the vacuum erection device. For this treatment, a man inserts his penis into the cylindrical pump that works like a vacuum to draw blood to the penis resulting in an erection. A band then goes around the base of penis in order to maintain the erection. Yet another option is injection therapy. A patient using this therapy will give himself a small, nearly painless injection into the base of the penis. The injection stimulates an erection for a certain amount of time.

Some cases call for more invasive treatments. With a penile prothesis, an implant is surgically inserted into the penis. A pump in the scrotum that is attached to the prosthesis is used to create the erection.

When facing erectile dysfunction, it is important to know that you are not the only person dealing with this issue, and there are plenty of treatment options available that help men lead normal and satisfying sexual lives. All it takes is a conversation with a urologist at the Advanced Urology Institute to find the best ED treatment for you.

I’ve got prostate cancer. Now what?

Being diagnosed with prostate cancer is a painful reality that can happen to any man. As Dr. Paul Arnold states, “Being diagnosed with prostate cancer is a very alarming, shocking, and scareful diagnosis.” A patient diagnosed with prostate cancer may experience a flood of thoughts, emotions and questions. For men recently diagnosed with cancer, the first step to a successful outcome will be having a trusted urologist answer questions and suggest treatment options.

Men recently diagnosed with prostate cancer will find there are many treatment options available to them. A trained and experienced urologist will be able to offer a number of treatment options tailored to their patient’s specific cancer type and circumstance. In some cases, when a cancer is not aggressive, a urologist may recommend staying away from treatment and instead monitor the cancer with the patient using active surveillance.

In cases where the cancer is more aggressive and the patient is healthy, a urologist may recommend surgery. Depending on how far the cancer has spread, the surgery could remove the entire prostate or just the prostate tissue where the cancer is found. In some cases, robotic surgery can be used for more precise procedures that cause less pain and quicker recovery times. Some of the common side effects of surgery are bladder incontinence and erectile dysfunction, although both usually go away with time.

Radiation therapy is an option for older patients, those who have other health problems, and patients who may have difficulty recovering from a surgery. For this treatment, radiation is used to kill the cancer cells. It also targets cancer that may have spread to bone. Although effective, the side effects of radiation therapy can be strenuous.

One newer option for prostate cancer treatment is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). This is a cutting-edge treatment option has been approved by the FDA since 2016 with exciting success. HIFU works by sending intense ultrasound waves directly to the area of the prostate that has cancer cells and these waves destroy the cancer cells. This is a minimally invasive treatment option with few side effects; however, only certain sizes and types of cancers can be treated in this way.

The fear and uncertainty caused by a cancer diagnosis is serious. Fortunately, experienced urologists at Advanced Urology Institute can help men find treatment options and guide them through this difficult time. For more information about prostate cancer, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

What happens when a man’s testosterone is low?

Testosterone is a male sex hormone that plays an important role in a man’s life. It is important to normal sex drive, energy and even mood. However, testosterone levels normally tend to decrease in men as they age. Although these decreases are generally normal and may even go unnoticed, they can also be severe and cause symptoms that are problematic.

Symptomatic low testosterone is a real problem that men can face when low levels of the hormone result in negative side effects. One of the most prominent symptoms is low energy and tiredness to the point of fatigue. A patient with low testosterone can also experience decreased libido or sex drive, or even erectile dysfunction. Personality can also be affected by low testosterone for those who experience moodiness, anxiety, and differing levels of stability.

Dr. Paul Arnold of Palm Harbor, FLThere are many causes of low testosterone, with simply aging being the most common reason. Men can also experience low testosterone after an injury to the testicles, chemotherapy, certain types of infections, or autoimmune diseases. In addition, there are also medications that can lower testosterone levels.

Many men with low testosterone experience no symptoms at all and, for these men, a urologist would not recommend treatment. For men who do experience the negative symptoms, one option is testosterone replacement therapy.

With testosterone replacement therapy, the hormone is brought into the body through gels, patches, or injections. The supplemental hormone brings testosterone back to normal levels and, in most cases, the patient will notice the change quickly. Energy levels, mood, and libido see quick improvements. And when testosterone replacement therapy is closely monitored by a urologist, the risks are minimal.

According to Dr. Paul Arnold, for patients receiving testosterone replacement therapy, “It’s like a light switch from their symptoms prior to treatment to post treatment.” Symptomatic low testosterone can be a difficult and depressing condition for those who miss the active life they once had. Fortunately, the urologists at the Advance Urology Institute can help you feel better and live with energy and a positive outlook again. For more information about testosterone replacement therapy, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Advancement in Prostate Cancer Biopsy

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer found in men. The likelihood of it forming in the walnut-shaped prostate organ increases with age. Luckily, there have been many major advances in how prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated. When it comes to diagnosing, board-certified urologist Dr. Jonathan Jay says, “First we must define where it is, how much of it exists within your prostate, and then what its behavior is like.”

Answering the where, how, and what is key to determining the type of prostate cancer and how to watch or treat it. Urologists are using advanced technologies to answer these questions. Urologists want to know how aggressive a cancer is when determining how aggressively they need to treat it. They can use a molecular biopsy and a high-quality T3 MRI to pick up on aggressive cancers. If an aggressive cancer is found, urologists can perform a more focused biopsy.

Dr. Jonathan Jay - Naples, FLThis focused biopsy is called a GPS Guided Biopsy and it has some very important advantages over a regular biopsy. The cancer may exist in a very small portion of the prostate, especially early on. This small cancer can be missed during a biopsy just by a sampling error, leading to a diagnosis that may not give a completely accurate picture of the cancer. But with a high-quality MRI, a guided biopsy can pinpoint the growth and the urologist can detect and determine the type of cancer with greater accuracy.

When the cancer is detected with greater accuracy, the urologist can now follow it more closely and understand what type the doctor and patient are dealing with. The urologist can perform a biopsy on the cancer to look at and understand its genetics. If the genetics show that it is not very aggressive or growing, then the urologist may decide to watch the cancer, as treatment may not be necessary. MRI’s and patient follow up can be used to watch the growth to see if there are any changes that may require more aggressive treatment.

Along with MRI’s, the cancer can be monitored with rectal exams and prostate-specific androgens (PSA) tests. These tools offer insight into the patient’s specific prostate cancer and its progression. If it becomes aggressive, the urologist can recommend surgery or radiation therapy.

A diagnosis is the beginning of a patient’s cancer treatment. At the Advance Urology Institute, urologists like Dr. Jonathan Jay utilize recent advancements in prostate cancer biopsies to provide their patients with the most accurate diagnosis and best treatment options.

Erectile Dysfunction Overview

Erectile dysfunction (male impotence) is a man’s inability to achieve or maintain an erection with enough firmness to have satisfying sex. Occasional erectile dysfunction (ED) is common and many men experience it when undergoing some form of stress. But frequent ED can be a sign of serious health, emotional or relationship problems that require the attention of a professional.

How common is erectile dysfunction?

Roughly 30 million men in the United States have problems achieving or maintaining an erection. The frequency of ED increases with age, affecting only 5-40% of men in their 40’s and up to 50-80% of men over 70 years. However, while the risk of ED increases with age, the condition is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Good health is the key to a lifetime of good sexual function.

Who is at risk of erectile dysfunction?

Dr. James Renehan of Tallahassee, FLApart from occurring frequently among the elderly, ED is often a consequence of poor emotional and physical health. It is common in men with high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, prostate disease, anxiety, damage from surgery or cancer, injuries, stress, depression, performance anxiety, relationship problems, alcohol use, smoking, and drug use. Typically, ED is caused by vascular disease (such as atherosclerosis) that prevents blood supply to the penis, a neurological disorder (like multiple sclerosis) that cuts transmission of nerve impulses to the penis, chronic medical disorders such as Peyronie’s disease, stroke and diabetes, trauma, and operations for bladder, colon and prostate cancer which may affect blood supply to the penis. These risk factors may work singly or in combination.

How is erectile dysfunction treated?

When you visit a urologist, the first step in the diagnosis of the problem is a thorough sexual, medical and psychosocial history. Physical examination with emphasis on the genitourinary, neurologic and vascular systems is performed. From the information gathered, the urologist may request hormone tests (testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and thyroid – stimulating hormone, prolactin and serum hormone-binding globulin), urinalysis, PSA (prostate-specific antigen), lipid profile, and serum chemistry. Functional tests such as prostaglandin E1 injection, formal neurologic testing, nocturnal penile tumescence testing and biothesiometry may be requested, together with imaging studies such as transrectal, testes and penile ultrasonography and angiography.

If erectile dysfunction is diagnosed, the doctor may recommend treatment depending on the cause and severity of the condition. For instance, the urologist may recommend sexual counseling when no organic causes can be established for the problem. Oral medications such as sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil or avanafil may be offered to relieve the problem. But for those not responding to oral medicines, the urologist may inject, implant or direct the topical application of drugs such as alprostadil, phentolamine or papaverine. In some cases, an external vacuum or constriction device may be recommended while for other patients hormone replacement therapy may be used to treat severe hypogonadism (lower-than-normal testosterone). Alternatively, the urologist may opt for surgery through procedures such as revascularization, placement of penile implant or surgical correction of venous outflow.

How is erectile dysfunction prevented?

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet that avoids saturated fats and increases the intake of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
  • Reduce cholesterol levels through exercise, medication and diet.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Seek prompt treatment or professional help for conditions such as stress, depression, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.

At Advanced Urology Institute, we recognize that effective treatment of erectile dysfunction involves a proper determination of the underlying cause and a frank discussion of both medical and non-medical options. This is why we have assembled an accomplished team of physicians, state-of-the-art facilities and a patient-centered system that responds to the unique needs of each patient. If you are experiencing a urological problem, make an appointment today. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.