Different Treatment Options for Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are hard deposits of salts and minerals that form in the kidneys. They are a common and sometimes acutely painful occurrance that affects both men and women. Sometimes these stones can pass from the kidneys and become lodged in the tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder, called ureters. When this happens, kidney stones can become a big problem, causing painful symptoms that may require medical treatment.

Dr. Samuel Lawindy of Daytona Beach, FLAcute kidney stone symptoms include pain, nausea, vomiting and fever. When a patient experiencing an acute kidney stone episode sees their urologist, the first thing the urologist will do is insert a stint into the urethra. This will open it up and take pressure off the kidney, easing any pain that is present. With the pain subdued, the urologist can move on to assessing the kidney stone’s size and location in order to decide the best treatment option.

One of the best and newest treatment options is shock wave lithotripsy. For this treatment, shock waves are used to break the stone, or stones, into small sand-like particles. These much smaller particles are easier for the patient to pass naturally through their urine. Lithotripsy is a non-invasive and relatively pain free treatment option that is generally well tolerated by the patient.

Ureteroscopy is a slightly more invasive option for kidney stones. General anesthesia is used for this procedure in which a urologist uses a long tool inserted into the urethra to find and remove the kidney stone. In cases of larger stones, a laser is used to break up the stone so it can be scooped out with the tool. With this procedure, the urologist can see the stones as they are removed. Since this is a more invasive option than the shock wave lithotripsy, there is a slightly longer recovery time.

For the largest stones that sit inside the kidney, urologists may need to remove them through the patient’s back. Although still minimally invasive, it is the most invasive option listed here. The urologist will enter the kidney through the back and then either break the stone up or pull the whole thing out through the incision. Recovery for this procedure usually involves an overnight stay at the hospital and some mild pain that can be helped with pain medication.

Patients experiencing the pain and discomfort of kidney stones should be reassured that there are several established procedures for removing the stones. Dr. Samuel Lawindy of the Advance Urology Institute knows the importance of finding the right kidney stone treatment for each patient. For more information about kidney stones, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

InterStim Therapy A Contemporary Approach to Overactive Bladder

InterStim therapy is a treatment option for patients with an overactive bladder, a serious case of urine retention or an uncontrollable frequent urge to urinate for reasons other than an overactive bladder. It gets its name from the InterStim, which is a small implantable device used to administer the therapy. There are other forms of treatment for overactive bladders, including medication and physical exercises. InterStim Therapy is used for patients who have failed to respond to the other treatments or who cannot undergo the treatments.

What is an Overactive Bladder?

Dr. Samuel LawindyAn overactive bladder is a condition characterized by sudden, frequent and uncontrollable urges to urinate. The patient feels the need to go to the bathroom numerous times during the day and the night. Sometimes, due to the uncontrollable nature of the urge, patients may have urine leakage, also known as urinary incontinence.

An overactive bladder may be caused by a neurological condition that interferes with the functioning of nerves that transmit messages between the brain and the bladder. Contributing factors can include diabetes, bladder complications such as tumors or stones, urine retention and an excessive intake of fluids.

InterStim therapy is focused on fixing the disconnect between the nerves in the brain and those that control bladder function.

The Procedure

The InterStim device is implanted in the upper buttock area through a minor surgical process called a Sacral Nerve Stimulation Procedure. Sacral nerves are located around the tailbone and regulate the operation of a person’s urinary function. Bladder movements are determined by the communication between the sacral nerves and the brain.

In patients suffering from an overactive bladder or urge incontinence, an InterStim device is implanted to enhance or correct the communication patterns between the sacral nerves and the brain, ensuring the person has full bladder control. Before the actual InterStim device is implanted, doctors place a temporary stimulator to observe how the patient responds. This helps to project what the efficiency of a permanent stimulator will be. If the patient does not respond at all to the temporary stimulator, then it would not help to implant a permanent one.

The success rate of the InterStim device is high, with patients reporting relief from their symptoms almost immediately. It is important to consult a urologist before having the device implanted because not every person may be a good candidate for the procedure. Since the surgery is a relatively delicate one, a patient should make sure to see an experienced urologist from a reputable institution, such as those from the Advanced Urology Institute. The staff of experts at Advanced Urology Institute can help with any questions, preparations and surgery. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

The Impact of Low Testosterone on Men

Testosterone is the hormone responsible for the development of the male sexual function. Besides being the main force behind a man’s sex drive and production of healthy sperm, testosterone also plays a role in the manufacturing of red blood cells and the distribution of fat in the male body as well as the regulation of muscle mass and bone density.

The production of testosterone drops gradually as men grow older and men over the age of 60 may develop symptoms of low testosterone. There are, however, instances where the production of testosterone slows down and falls below the required levels for reasons other than aging. Such men are said to be suffering from low testosterone. The level of testosterone can be measured through a simple blood test. In a normally functioning male, the level fluctuates between 300 ng/dL to 1000 ng/dL. If the level is below 300 ng/dL, then he may have low testosterone, also called hypogonadism.

Impacts of Low Testosterone on Men

Dr. Samuel Lawindy1. Reduced Sex Drive

A drastic decrease in a man’s urge to have sex may point to low testosterone. Often this will be accompanied by a failure to achieve or maintain an erection, or erectile dysfunction. It is common for men mistakenly to attribute a reduced sex drive to aging. While it is true that the older you are the less interest you may have in sex, this is a gradual process that keeps pace with other bodily changes so when it happens, it is not that much of a surprise. It does not happen abruptly.

2. Shrinking Testicles

Testosterone causes the increase in size of the testicles and the penis during puberty. If the levels go down, it is to be expected that these organs may shrink. The testicles also may feel much softer.

3. Low semen Volume

Testosterone stimulates the production of semen, so low levels of testosterone inhibit the normal production of semen.

4. General Fatigue
Low testosterone levels also may cause a proportionate decrease in energy levels, leading to fatigue. This may be accompanied by a dislike for physical activity and movement.

If left untreated, the symptoms of low testosterone increase in severity and with time may cause hair loss, infertility, low bone density that can develop into osteoporosis, loss of muscle and a marked increase in weight because fat distribution remains unregulated.

The symptoms experienced by patients with low testosterone can mimic symptoms of other conditions. It is therefore necessary for one to undergo diagnostic tests with a trained urologist to determine the cause. Men also should schedule regular screening sessions where their testosterone levels are measured. And it is important to note that hypogonadism is treatable. The Advanced Urology Institute has a highly qualified staff of specialists that can offer a wide variety of treatment options as well as answer any questions. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed

The prostate gland is the part of the male reproductive system that produces seminal fluid. Prostate cancer is the type of cancer that affects this organ. It is the most common cancer in men, with men over the age of 50 being at the greatest risk. It usually does not manifest symptoms in its initial stages. This is unfortunate because it means prostate cancer may not be detected until it is more advanced. Even when it does present symptoms, they might resemble other conditions such as an enlarged prostate. For this reason, before one concludes that they have prostate cancer, it is necessary that they first undergo the specific tests geared toward detecting it.

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

There are two preliminary tests for prostate cancer. These are:

1. PSA Test. This tests for an antigen produced by and specific to the prostate. It is normal for the antigen to occur in small quantities. An unusually high level of PSA, however, may indicate the presence of prostate cancer or some other inflammation of the prostate.

Dr. Samuel Lawindy from Daytona Beach, FL2. Digital Rectal Exam. This is very commonly used in prostate screening exercises. The doctor inserts a finger into the rectum and physically examines the prostate. If the doctor detects something unusual in the shape, mass or texture of the prostate, then there may be further tests to determine what the problem is.

The two tests are not conclusive. They simply inform the urologist that something might be wrong and that the patient needs further examination. In order to test for cancer of the prostate specifically, the following procedures may be done after either of the initial tests.

A. A biopsy. A prostate cancer biopsy involves the use of a very fine needle inserted through the rectum to collect tissue from the prostate. The tissue is then tested for cancer.

B. Transrectal ultrasound. The doctor inserts a small probe in the rectum. The probe produces high frequency sounds that bounce off the prostate, producing an image of the prostate that can be projected on a screen and observed in greater detail.

C. MRI Fusion biopsy. This combines an MRI and the transrectal ultrasound to produce a clearer image of the prostate. It gives a better view of the part of the prostate that is affected. If a biopsy is to be performed later, it provides a picture of the precise area where tissue should be tested.

Early detection of prostate cancer improves the chances of successful treatment. It is important for men starting about age 50 to have regular screenings so that any cancer can be detected early. Seek out experienced and certified urologists, such as those on staff at the Advanced Urology Institute, to discuss any concerns and set up screening tests. Such examinations should be a regular part of a man’s health care.
For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.