What is an Erectile Dysfunction? with Dr. James E. Renehan

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a man’s inability or difficulty to get or keep erections that are firm enough to enable sexual intercourse.

While occasional ED is very common in men, particularly during times of stress, depression or fatigue, frequent ED can really ruin a man’s life. For instance, some men with erectile dysfunction may avoid contact with their partners for fear that they will have trouble satisfying them sexually in the bedroom while others may get into a complete emotional and psychological meltdown.

Forms of erectile dysfunction

According to Dr. James E. Renehan of Advanced Urology Institute, erectile dysfunction can take a variety of forms. For example, some men may be unable to get an erection under any circumstance, while other men with ED may occasionally get an erection. In other men, getting an erection is possible but the erections are not strong enough for satisfying sexual intercourse.

“Erectile dysfunction does not mean that you are infertile,” says Dr. Renehan. “In fact, the majority of the men having difficulties with getting an erection are still quite capable of achieving an orgasm and getting children. ED just means that you cannot consistently get or sustain an erection.”

What are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction?

You could be suffering from ED if you frequently have:

  1. Difficulty getting an erection.
  2. Trouble sustaining an erection throughout sexual intercourse or during sexual activities.
  3. Diminished interest in sex.

However, there are also a number of factors related to erectile dysfunction, such as:

  1. Premature ejaculation.
  2. Difficulty achieving orgasm even after ample stimulation (anorgasmia).
  3. Delayed ejaculation.

Experiencing such symptoms for 2 or more months may indicate that you have erectile dysfunction. So it is important to speak with your urologist to determine if you have a sexual disorder.

“Men should know that erectile dysfunction is not in the head,” says Dr. Renehan. “You will not simply get an erection by stimulation, as 80 percent of all cases of ED are usually caused by treatable physical disorders, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. So make sure you visit your doctor for advice.”

Causes of erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction may have several possible causes, including both physical disorders and emotional problems. The most common causes are:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Obesity (being overweight)
  3. Smoking, alcohol use or drug abuse
  4. Hypertension
  5. Cardiovascular disease
  6. Hyperlipidemia
  7. Injuries
  8. Stress, anxiety or relationship problems
  9. Damage from surgery or cancer treatment
  10. Increased age

Because there are many possible causes of erectile dysfunction, it is important to work with a urologist so that any underlying medical conditions are identified and treated.

Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction

When you visit your urologist, you will be asked questions related to your symptoms, health history, emotional and physical problems. You also should expect a physical examination in which the doctor will listen to your lungs and heart, examine your penis and testicles and measure your blood pressure. The doctor may order various tests to determine whether you have an underlying disorder, such as blood and urine tests. A rectal examination may be requested to check your prostate.

Treatment of erectile dysfunction

The treatment chosen by your doctor will depend on the type of symptoms and any underlying causes for the dysfunction. At times, a combination of treatments may be necessary. The most common treatments for ED include:

  1. Medications: The doctor may prescribe medications to improve blood flow to the penis and improve ED symptoms. The drugs commonly indicated include Alprostadil (Caverject), Avanafil (Stendra), Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), Testosterone (Androderm) and Vardenafil (Levitra).
  2. Talk Therapy: If it is established that the erectile dysfunction is caused by psychological factors such as stress, depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, the urologist may recommend that you see a therapist. Working with the therapist, you will attend several sessions in which you will be helped to recover from stress, anxiety, subconscious conflict or negative feelings around sex. A relationship counselor also may be called upon if the ED is affecting your relationship.
  3. Alternative Treatments: Treatments such as prostatic massage, acupuncture, yoga and pelvic floor exercises also may improve your condition. Likewise, lifestyle and diet changes, such as regular exercise, losing weight, lowering your blood pressure and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol can be recommended to help you overcome erectile dysfunction.
  4. Surgery: When medications and exercises fail to work, the urologist may perform a surgery to correct any problems in the penis or to add a penile implant. Penile implants help to generate spontaneous and controlled erections.

Erectile dysfunction is treatable

Most cases of erectile dysfunction are treatable. At Advanced Urology Institute, we have helped thousands of men to improve their symptoms and regain their confidence through compassionate, multidisciplinary, patient-centered treatment approaches. Depending on your condition, we will administer the right medications or treatments to ensure that you achieve an erection and be able to have satisfying sexual intercourse. Come and discuss your symptoms with us so we can fix your problem. For more information on help with erectile dysfunction, visit the “Advanced Urology Institute” site.

What is Da Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy?

The da Vinci system is a revolutionary, minimally-invasive surgical robot for treating prostate cancer. Designed by Intuitive Surgical to help overcome the shortcomings of both the traditional laparoscopic prostatectomy and open prostatectomy, the da Vinci system enables a surgeon to conduct highly precise, nerve-sparing surgery using several dime-shaped incisions. With the da Vinci surgical procedure, entire cancerous tissue or prostate can be removed, cancer completely eradicated and internal repair achieved without interference with sexual function, potency and bladder control.

Also called robotic prostatectomy, the da Vinci uses a finely-controlled robotic apparatus, including micro-surgical instruments and high-resolution cameras, to perform prostate surgery safely, achieving faster patient recovery and better treatment outcomes.

High-Precision Prostatectomy

During da Vinci robotic surgery, urologists use the “motion scaling” feature on the system to convert subtle hand movements made outside the body into extremely precise and accurate movements inside the body. The urologist controls the robotic arms of the da Vinci console by applying natural wrist and hand movements. Through motion scaling, filtration and seamless translation of hand-and-wrist movements, the urologist can achieve greater precision that is normally not achievable during traditional laparoscopic and open surgery procedures. The da Vinci system not only provides urologists with enhanced dexterity, range of motion and flexibility, but also enables surgeons to safely access difficult-to-operate areas of the pelvis, abdomen and closed chest. The robot also filters and eliminates unpredictable hand movements and hand tremors that may occur during the operation.

Computerized 3-D Visualization

The da Vinci system dramatically improves visualization by providing a sharper and brighter view than can be seen during traditional laparoscopic endoscopes and by the eye during open surgery. The robotic system comes with a proprietary camera, enabling the surgeon to zoom in, rotate and even change image visualization. As a result, the 3-D image produced is clearer and brighter, and with no flickers as seen in traditional laparoscopic systems.

Even though the da Vinci robotic prostatectomy is a remote procedure, urologists have the feeling that their hands are fully immersed in the body and are able to complete all the necessary procedures efficiently. With the 3-D visualization and robotic hand simulation, the da Vinci system enables urologists to perform highly complex procedures more effectively than traditional laparoscopic surgery or open surgery.

Getting da Vinci Prostatectomy at Advanced Urology Institute

At Advanced Urology Institute, the da Vinci prostatectomy patients are usually discharged 24 hours after their operation. The system is used at AUI because it has superior benefits to traditional laparoscopic prostatectomy or open prostate surgery. The benefits of the da Vinci prostate surgery include:

  1. Reduced pain and higher nerve-sparing rate.
  2. Shorter hospitalization, with most patients going home the next day.
  3. Minimal blood loss, fewer transfusions and reduced risk of complications (such as impotence and incontinence).
  4. Quicker return to pre-surgery erectile function and urinary continence.
  5. Faster return to routine activities.

Are you looking for a da Vinci urologist near you? You can check out this life-changing technology at Advanced Urology Institute. For more information, visit the “’Advanced Urology Institute” site.

Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate

An enlarged prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is an increase in the size of the prostate. While most men have prostate growth throughout their life, not all men get bothersome symptoms. As the prostate grows it presses on the outside of the urethra and can slow down or even stop the flow of urine. BPH is common in men in their 50’s, with about 1 in 3 men above 50 years of age having urinary symptoms.

It is not clear what causes prostate enlargement. However, the following risk factors are involved:

Age – While prostate gland enlargement hardly causes symptoms in men below age 40, about a third of men in their 60’s and about half of men in their 80’s have BPH symptoms.

Hormone Levels – The balance of hormones in the body changes as men grows older, causing the prostate to grow.

Family History – Those with a blood relative, especially a father or brother, with prostate problems are more
likely to have BPH.

Ethnic Background – BPH symptoms are more common in white and black men than Asian men. Black men tend to experience BPH symptoms at a younger age than white men.

Lifestyle – Regular exercise lowers the risk of BPH while obesity increases the risk.

Diabetes and Heart Disease – The risk of BPH increases in men with diabetes, heart disease and those on beta blockers.

What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?

The severity of symptoms in people with BPH varies, but tends to worsen over time. Common symptoms include:

  • urgent or frequent need to urinate
  • nocturia (increased frequency to urinate at night)
  • difficulty starting urination
  • inability to completely empty the bladder
  • weak urine stream or a urine stream that stops and starts
  • straining while urinating
  • dribbling at the end of urination

The less common symptoms of BPH are:

  • inability to urinate
  • urinary tract infection
  • blood in the urine

You may never get all of these symptoms. In fact, some men with an enlarged prostate do not get any symptoms at all. In some men, the symptoms eventually stabilize and may even improve over time, while in others they may get worse. Some of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions, like anxiety, cold weather, lifestyle factors, certain medicines and other health problems. Therefore, if you have any of the above symptoms, visit your physician to find out what could be causing them.

How can a urologist help?

A urologist will take your medical history and conduct a physical exam. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the urologist will order tests such as digital rectal exam, urine test, blood test for kidney problems, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test or a neurological exam. The doctor may also request additional tests such as urinary flow test, post-void residual volume test, and 24-hour voiding diary. If the problem is more complex, the urologist may recommend a transrectal ultrasound, prostate biopsy, cystoscopy, urodynamic and pressure flow studies, intravenous pyelogram or CT urogram. If an enlarged prostate is diagnosed, the urologist has various treatment options to offer including lifestyle modifications and medicines. In severe cases, the urologist will opt for surgery. For more information and help with BPH, visit Advanced Urology Institute.

4 Common Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate

Prostate gland enlargement occurs in men as they age and is quite common in men above the age of 50. Medically referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the condition can be completely benign or have serious complications such as bladder blockage, urinary retention, bladder infections, kidney stones or kidney damage. Since the prostate gland is located underneath the bladder, its increased size can block the flow of urine through the urethra, a tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body via the penis. This in turn results in problems with urination and other complications.

Benign prostate enlargement (BPH) is not prostate cancer.

Even though the complications of an enlarged prostate may be serious, BPH is not prostate cancer. Neither does it imply you have a greater risk of getting prostate cancer. Usually, the growth of prostate tissue associated with BPH starts around the inner prostate (a ring of tissue around the urethra) and progresses inward. In contrast to this, prostate cancer often grows from the outer part of the prostate and continues outward. Therefore, having an enlarged prostate does not increase your risk of prostate cancer because the two conditions typically begin in different areas of the prostate. Nevertheless, men can have prostate cancer and enlarged prostate at the same time, so you should speak with your urologist or GP if you have any concerns about prostate cancer. Keep in mind that BPH does not cause erection problems and does not affect a man’s capacity to father children.

What causes BPH?

Generally, an enlarged prostate is considered a normal part of the aging process in men, believed to result from changes in hormone levels and cell growth. And while the actual cause of benign prostate enlargement is still unknown, studies have shown that changes in the cells of the testicles play a role in the growth of the gland. This is confirmed by the fact that men whose testicles are removed at a young age never develop the condition while those whose testicles are removed after developing BPH experience shrinkage in the size of the prostate. Some studies have also revealed that men with obesity or diabetes, as well as men with a father or brother with the condition, are more likely to develop BPH.

What are the 4 common symptoms of an enlarged prostate?

One of the more common symptoms of BPH is a frequent or urgent need to urinate. Men with BPH will have the urge to urinate more often and particularly at night, a condition known as nocturia. By frequent urination, we mean having to pass urine eight or more times a day. The need to urinate will be urgent because the increased pressure placed on the bladder and urethra by the enlarged prostate make holding urine more difficult.

On the other hand, urinating can be made more difficult by BPH because the increased pressure on the urethra may block urine flow from the bladder out through the penis. You may find it hard to start a urine stream or experience an interrupted or weak urine stream. Depending on the severity of your BPH, you may find it difficult to pass urine, a condition resulting in urine retention. When this happens, you must see your doctor immediately so that a catheter can be inserted into your bladder to drain the urine. Your doctor may recommend you see a urologist for surgery to remove a portion of the enlarged prostate tissue or make cuts on the prostate in order to widen the urethra.

Another symptom is pain during urination or ejaculation caused by pressure on the urinary tract or reproductive system due to BPH. In fact, some men even feel the need to push out urine, which may also cause pain. Remember, pain during ejaculation or urination may also be due to infection.

Other problems associated with an enlarged prostate include urinary tract infections, unusual urine color or smell, blood in urine, bladder stones, and bladder or kidney damage. But not all men with BPH show these symptoms. In fact, some men with enlarged prostate do not get any symptoms at all. If you do have symptoms, you should definitely see your doctor.

How is an enlarged prostate treated?

Your urologist will ask you questions about your symptoms and about your past health. A physical exam, a urine test (urinalysis) and a digital rectal examination will also be performed to aid diagnosis. In some cases, your doctor will request the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in order to rule out prostate cancer.

If you only have mild to moderate symptoms, your doctor can recommend “watchful waiting” for lifestyle changes and regular check-ups to monitor symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe medications such as alpha-blockers or 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors to alleviate the symptoms.

If your condition does not improve after trying recommended lifestyle changes and medications, your doctor may opt for surgery. The type of surgery chosen by the urologist will depend on the size of your prostate, any other medical problems you have and the potential risks and benefits of the operation. For more information about treatments for enlarged prostate, visit an Advanced Urology Institute clinic near you.

Becoming a Urologist with James E. Renehan, MD

Video: Becoming a Urologist with James E. Renehan, MD


Urologist Dr. James E. Renehan completed his urological residency in New Orleans, LA. His urological interests include treating urologic cancers, stone management, female urology and incontinence and laparosonic/robotic surgery. [Read Full Article…]

Becoming a Urologist with Dr. Robert S. Bradford

Video: Becoming a Urologist with Dr. Robert S. Bradford


Urologist Robert S. Bradford, MD received his medical degree from the University of South Carolina in Charleston. He returned to Florida to complete his surgical internship and urology residency at the University of Florida.[Read Full Article…]