Expertise You Can Trust
Our urologists diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions that affect the urinary tract in both men and women, as well as the prostate and reproductive systems. While many people tend to avoid topics like incontinence, erectile dysfunction or other urological concerns, you can trust our highly skilled, experienced team to handle your concerns with compassion and respect. Maintaining your health in these areas is essential to living a balanced, happy life. Our urologists make it a priority to help you do exactly that.
Common Urology Conditions We Treat
Bladder cancer means there are abnormal cells in the bladder. These cells may form a tumor over time and may spread to other parts of the body. The cause of bladder cancer isn't always clear, but it is strongly linked to smoking cigarettes. Other risk factors include things like race, age, gender and medical history. Talk to your provider about your risk factors for bladder cancer and what you can do about them.
Symptoms include blood in your urine and unexplained changes in urination. These changes can include burning, discomfort, pain while urinating, an urgent need to urinate, trouble urinating or a weak stream of urine. These symptoms can be caused by health problems other than bladder cancer. It's important to see your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms. Treatment will depend on what the cancer cells look like, how many cells are multiplying and how likely they are to grow and spread.
When the bladder muscles contract involuntarily it's called overactive bladder syndrome (OAB). This causes an intense urge to urinate, called urgency. Urgency can occur many times during the day and night. If urine leaks with the urgency it is called urge incontinence.
A disease that affects the bladder nerves, such as multiple sclerosis, can cause overactive bladder syndrome. Other conditions can also lead to OAB. These include urinary tract infection (UTI) or prostate problems in men. The exact cause is often not known.
Treatment may include lifestyle changes, exercise, medication, biofeedback, neuromodulcation, injections or surgery.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is also called benign prostatic hypertrophy. It’s when the prostate gland becomes very large and may cause problems passing urine. The prostate gland is found only in males. BPH is a common part of aging. Some symptoms of BPH and prostate cancer are the same, but BPH is not cancer and does not develop into prostate cancer.
The following are the most common symptoms of BPH:
- Leaking or dribbling of urine
- Trouble starting urine stream
- More frequent urination, especially at night
- Urgency to urinate
- Holding urine or can't pass urine
- An interrupted, weak stream of urine
These problems may lead to one or more of the following if BPH is not treated:
- Loss of urine control
- Kidney damage
- Blood in the urine
- Bladder damage
- Urinary tract infections
- Bladder stones
- Inability to pass urine at all
The symptoms of BPH may look like other conditions or health problems. Always talk with a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
If treatment is needed, there are many surgical and nonsurgical options. See our BPH treatment page for more information.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence means you can’t get an erection. It can also mean you are not happy with the size or hardness of your erections, or how long your erections last. ED can be caused by psychological problems like performance anxiety or depression. But for most men, ED is caused by physical problems. These are most often related to the blood supply to the penis. It may be connected to a medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease or Parkinson's disease.
Risk factors for ED include prostate problems, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, alcohol, smoking and several chronic diseases. There are several medications that can help. If an underlying condition is causing the problem, treatment might focus on addressing that condition.
ED can be a difficult subject to bring up. Remember that a healthy sex life is part of a healthy relationship. It's often possible for a doctor to uncover the underlying cause of ED simply by taking a thorough medical history. Your provider has likely helped many people with similar concerns and can work with you to find a solution.
The cells of the prostate gland make the protein called prostate specific antigen (PSA). Men normally have low levels of PSA. If your PSA levels start to rise it could mean you have one of the below:
- Prostate cancer
- A benign prostate condition
- Inflammation of the prostate
- An infection in the prostate
The PSA test is a simple blood test that can help find prostate cancer. Experts don’t all agree on when to have PSA testing. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force advises men who don't have any symptoms of prostate cancer to not have a PSA test. The task force says that PSA test results can lead to treating small cancers that would never be life-threatening.
The American Cancer Society advises that men be told the risks and benefits of PSA testing and make their own decision about if and when to be screened.
The American Urologic Society says that PSA screening is most important between the ages of 55 and 69. If you have a brother or father with prostate cancer or you are African American you should start testing at age 40.
Discuss the pros and cons of testing with your health care provider based on your situation.
A hydrocele is a sac of fluid that forms around a testicle. It occurs when fluid builds up in the layer of tissue that covers the testicle. It may be caused by an infection or by injury to the testicle, but the cause is often not known. A large hydrocele can cause pain or swelling in the scrotum. Hydrocelectomy is surgery to remove the hydrocele.
Kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, forms when cells in the kidney change and multiply abnormally. The cancer can interfere with the working of the kidneys. Kidney cancer may spread beyond the kidneys to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis. The more cancer spreads the harder it is to treat.
Surgery is the most common treatment for kidney cancer. Other options may include immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other targeted therapies using medication. Which treatment might work best for you depends on a number of factors. These include the type, size, location and stage of your cancer. Factors also include your age, overall health and what side effects you'll find acceptable.
Your health care provider is the best person to answer your questions. They can tell you what your treatment choices are, how successful they’re expected to be and what the risks and side effects are. It's important to take the time you need to make the best decision.
Kidney stones are made up of chemical crystals that separate out from urine. These crystals clump together to make stones. They form in the calyx of the kidney. They may stay in the kidney or move into the urinary tract. Kidneys form stones for many reasons. If you don’t drink enough water, for instance, you won’t have enough urine to dilute chemicals. Then the chemicals may form crystals, which can develop into stones. Other reasons kidney stones may form include dehydration, certain foods, kidney infections and family history.
Symptoms include sudden and severe pain and bloody urine. Kidney stones can also cause nausea or frequent, burning urination. Fever may indicate a serious infection. Call your health care provider right away if you develop a fever with these symptoms.
Treatment options include surgical removal and using shock waves to break the stone into small pieces that pass more easily. In some cases your health care provider may prescribe medications to dissolve or prevent stones or to stop an infection. Click here to learn more about treatment options for kidney stones.
Prevention is the most important treatment for kidney stones. Prevention is especially important if you've had kidney stones in the past, as this makes you likely to form another. Getting plenty of fluids, eating less protein (if applicable), limiting salt and other dietary changes can help prevent kidney stones.
Cancer that starts in the prostate is called prostate cancer. The prostate is a gland in men about the size and shape of a walnut. It surrounds the upper part of the urethra. This is the tube that carries urine from the bladder. The prostate makes some of the fluid that’s part of semen. During orgasm, semen leaves the body through the urethra. Risk factors for prostate cancer include age, family history and race. As you grow older your risk of developing prostate cancer increases. Men with a father or brother who has had prostate cancer and African-American men are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer may not cause symptoms at first. Urinary problems are often not a sign of cancer but of another condition, such as BPH. To find out if you have prostate cancer, your healthcare provider must examine you and order tests. The tests help confirm a diagnosis of cancer. They also help give more information about a cancerous tumor. Screening for prostate cancer can help check if you have cancer. Screening tests often include a digital rectal exam and/or a prostate specific antigen blood test. Talk with your healthcare provider about the pros and cons of regular screening starting at age 50, or earlier if you are at higher risk.
No matter what type of treatment you choose, life with prostate cancer can be challenging. Changes in sexual function and urinary problems are common during treatment. Your goal should be to live as normal a life as possible. Your health care team can help you cope with any physical and emotional issues. Click here to learn more about prostate cancer and our treatment options.
Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35. Most cases affect men under 55. It usually shows up as a painless lump in the testicle. The good news is that a simple monthly self-exam may help find trouble before it gets serious. When detected early testicular cancer is almost 100 percent curable.
It’s normal to feel afraid when you hear a diagnosis of cancer. But learning about your cancer and your treatment options can help you feel less afraid. It also helps you work with your health care team and make the best choices for you. Your health care team will likely include a urologist, a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. Many other healthcare professionals will be part of your team as well. They will answer any questions you may have and help you through each of the steps you’ll take before, during and after treatment.
Surgery is often the first treatment for testicular cancer. Different kinds of surgery may be done. Which surgery you have depends on the type of testicular cancer, how much it has spread and other factors. You might also need other treatments after surgery. These might be chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Treatment for testicular cancer can lead to changes in sexual function. Treatment can also change how your genital area looks. Talk with your health care provider if you have any concerns about how cancer or its treatment can affect your sexuality. There are often ways to help.
Urinary Incontinence in Men and Women
Urinary incontinence (UI) is the loss of urine control. You may not be able to hold your urine until you can reach a restroom. It may be a short-term problem caused by another health issue or it may be a long-term problem that you’ll have to manage. UI can range from a slight loss of urine to severe, frequent wetting. UI is not a normal part of aging. But it is common in older people.
The following are some of the different types of UI:
- Urge incontinence: This is when the need to urinate comes on very quickly. Often, you may not be able to get to a restroom in time. It’s common in people who have certain conditions such as diabetes, stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis and may be a sign that these other conditions need attention. It’s also common in older adults and may be a sign of a urinary tract infection or an overactive bladder.
- Stress incontinence: This is the most common type of incontinence and is more common in women. You may leak urine when doing movements that put pressure on the bladder, such as exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing or lifting heavy objects.
- Functional incontinence: Functional incontinence occurs when you have urine control, but can’t get to a restroom in time. This may be due to conditions that make it hard to move, such as arthritis.
- Overflow incontinence: This is the leakage of small amounts of urine caused by an over-filled bladder. It may feel like you can’t fully empty your bladder.
- Mixed incontinence: This is incontinence caused by a mix of more than one of the types listed above.
The most important step in diagnosing UI is talking with a health care provider. Don’t let embarrassment keep you from getting help. It’s important to see a health care provider for a physical exam focusing on the urinary and nervous systems and reproductive organs. Diagnosis may also include testing urine samples.
Treatment options may include behavioral adjustments, lifestyle changes, pelvic muscle rehab, medication, special therapies and surgery. Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age and general health, as well as how severe the condition is.
See our incontinence page to learn more about treatment options.