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How Can Botox Be Used to Treat Urinary Incontinence

 close up image of botox bottle and syringe to treat urinary incontinence

What is Urinary Incontinence (Overactive Bladder)?

Urinary incontinence, often referred to as overactive bladder, is when an individual loses the ability to control their bladder. It can range in severity from an occasional leak, often when you cough or sneeze, to having such a strong urge to urinate that you cannot reach a toilet in time.

While it occurs more in older adults, urinary incontinence can affect anyone at any age. It is an embarrassing problem for many, but there are treatment options to help ease the discomfort or to stop urinary incontinence altogether. Keep reading to learn more about overactive bladder, and how Botox bladder injections may be the right treatment option for you.

What Causes Overactive Bladder?

For those who have a normal bladder function, as your bladder fills, nerve signals are sent to your brain to trigger the need to urinate. When you use the restroom, the nerve signals help relax the pelvic floor muscles and the urinary sphincter muscles. This helps push the urine out. For those with involuntary bladder contractions, the muscles of the bladder contract involuntarily, even when the volume of urine in your bladder is low. This creates the need to urinate. 

There are many conditions that may contribute to an overactive bladder, including:

  • Neurological disorders, including stroke and multiple sclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications
  • Tumors, bladder stones, or other abnormalities in the bladder
  • Enlarged prostate, constipation, or other factors that obstruct bladder outflow
  • Excess consumption of caffeine or alcohol
  • Difficulty walking
  • Incomplete bladder emptying 

Is Botox Effective for Overactive Bladder?

While you may be familiar with Botox helping wrinkles, excessive sweating, and migraines, did you know that Botox can also be an effective treatment for urinary incontinence? Injecting Botox into your bladder helps your muscles relax. This helps give you more time to get to the bathroom when you feel the need to urinate. 

The Procedure is Quick and Easy

The entire process should take about one hour and can be given in the comfort and convenience of your doctor’s office. First, your bladder will be numbed with lidocaine for a more comfortable treatment experience. Your physician will use a cystoscope to inject the Botox into multiple areas of your bladder muscle. The procedure isn’t painful, but you may experience some minor discomfort.

How Long do Botox Bladder Injections Last?

Botox injections can help those suffering from an overactive bladder for up to 6 months, which is why it is often administered twice a year. Most individuals who choose Botox as a treatment option for an overactive bladder see symptom relief in a few short days. Your doctor administering the Botox can help create a treatment schedule that is best suited for your body.

Side Effects of Botox for Urinary Incontinence

Like any procedure, there are potential side effects for using Botox to treat an overactive bladder. Some of the most common side effects include:

It’s important to note that you should not treat your urinary incontinence with Botox if you currently have a urinary tract infection or if you are not willing/able to use a disposable self-catheter if necessary. You should also take antibiotics before, during, and after treatment to help decrease the chances of developing an infection.

Botox Bladder Injections in New Jersey

If you wish to treat your overactive bladder with Botox, the highly qualified team of urologists at Somerset Urological Associates is happy to help. Our team of physicians is ready to answer any questions you may have regarding your urinary incontinence. We seek to provide the highest level of care through our skilled and knowledgeable healthcare professionals and advanced technologies. For more information, please contact us today: (908) 927-0300.

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What to Expect During a Bladder Ultrasound

Category: Urology

What is a Bladder Ultrasound and How is it performed?

A bladder ultrasound is a simple procedure that takes an image of the inside of the bladder, as well as the contents of it by using high-frequency sound waves transmitted through a transducer. This procedure is performed the same way in which many other ultrasounds are. A bladder ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure and not painful. It is performed by a sonographer who will put a clear gel on the patients’ lower abdomen between the belly button and pelvis, then the ultrasound technician will firmly press a transducer that will emit high-frequency sound waves. The way the sound waves bounce off of the patient’s body will create readable images that will allow doctors to detect information about the condition of the patient’s bladder. 

What is the Purpose of Having a Bladder Ultrasound?

Many people have bladder ultrasounds in order to detect a urinary tract infection (UTI), to monitor catheters, and other bladder problems, such as difficulty urinating, urinary incontinence, and pain when urinating. It can also show the internal structure of the bladder, abnormalities, and any unusual contents of the bladder such as blockages or stones.

What Do I Need to Do to Prepare for my Bladder Ultrasound?

Bladder ultrasound preparation is extremely minimal. Your ultrasound technician will let you know whether you need a full or empty bladder during your test. If you need to have a full bladder your doctor may ask you to drink many glasses of water before the test. If your bladder needs to be empty your ultrasound technician will simply ask you to use the restroom before your exam. If you have trouble keeping your bladder full, you may be asked to empty your bladder about an hour before your exam and then drink water once you get to the radiologist’s office so that the test can be done immediately after your bladder is filled. Therefore allowing you to not have to hold your urine as long.

How Will I Get my Bladder Ultrasound Results?

 After a radiologist reviews the images from your exam, you will be notified of the results one day up to a week after the ultrasound. If there are any abnormalities or other concerns your doctor may order more tests to be performed to take a deeper look into your bladder.

Urologic Diagnoses and Treatment in New Jersey

Somerset Urological Associates has provided top-quality care and treatment to its patients for 60 years. Their services range from the treatment of kidney stones and urologic oncology, prostate cancer screening, male infertility, and urinary incontinence. As well as, solutions to your most personal health concerns like vasectomies, and kidney bladder and testicular ultrasound. Somerset Urological Associates regularly use top of the line technology to perform robotically-assisted laparoscopic surgical procedures like prostatectomies, cystectomy, and pyeloplasty. Their routine use of the newest technologies when treating patients enhances the quality of life during treatment and post-surgery. Somerset Urological Associates are committed to providing care that is tailored to the problems, concerns, and lifestyles of their patients. Their team of urological expert physicians is more than equipped to provide you with the most advanced forms of care with professionalism and compassion. Contact Somerset Urological Associates today to schedule an appointment with knowledgeable and experienced urological physicians today!

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5 Types of Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a fairly common problem that is often embarrassing and awkward for people to discuss, as well as inconvenient. Essentially, urinary incontinence is the loss of control of the bladder that ranges in severity from being caused by stress such as coughing to other more serious reasons. While sometimes associated with aging, urinary incontinence can affect anyone. Here are the different types of this condition.

#1. Pressure Can Cause Stress Incontinence

Urinary Stress Incontinence happens when a small amount of urine leaks from the urethra from a variety of actions including coughing, sneezing, exercising, or other stressors. The reason why these stressors cause urine to leak is because they put greater abdominal pressure on the bladder. In total, this condition affects approximately 13 million people in the United States, 85% of whom are women. Incontinence is more common in women because of pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. Men are affected too, but that is usually due to the enlargement of the prostate that occurs with aging.

#2. Urge Incontinence Happens Abruptly

Unlike stress incontinence, which is caused by a physical action, urge incontinence might seem more “random” from the outside. Urge incontinence is when you suddenly have an intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. This type of incontinence is caused by minor conditions such as infections, but also by more serious conditions including a neurologic disorder or diabetes.

#3. Overflow Incontinence is Non-Stop

Overflow incontinence is when you are unable to completely empty your bladder. You may not sense that your bladder is full. This leads to overflow, which then leaks out unexpectedly. A symptom of an overflow incontinence involves frequent or constant dribbling of urine due to a bladder that doesn’t empty completely. If you find yourself leaking urine during the day or even wetting the bed at night, this may be another sign of overflow incontinence.

#4. Functional Incontinence Can Hold You Back

This type of incontinence occurs usually due to a mental or physical barrier preventing you from making it to the bathroom on time. Severe arthritis could be an example of one condition that goes on to cause functional incontinence.

#5. More Than One Type of Incontinence

If a number of these symptoms sound familiar to you, then you might have what is called mixed incontinence. Mixed incontinence is when you experience more than one type of urinary incontinence. Therefore, you might experience stress incontinence at the gym, but also have a mental impairment keeping you from making it to the toilet in time, resulting in functional incontinence.

Coping With Urinary Incontinence

If you struggle with incontinence, there are solutions for you out there. Before pursuing one, it is best to consult with your doctor, who will have access to a team of experienced professionals and resources to best help you. One common solution is sling surgery. Basically, the surgeon creates a “sling” that they then put under the urethra. This then acts like a hammock and supports the urethra and the neck of the bladder. As a result, sling surgery helps to prevent leaks. Before pursuing sling surgery or other medical solutions, review the issues with your doctor at a consultation.

Urinary Incontinence Specialists in New Jersey

If you are ready to move forward and find a solution to your incontinence today, then it is time to call a professional urologist. Working with a team of physicians who specialize in urology will give you the comfort and specialized care needed to handle this challenge. At Somerset Urological Associates, we will give you just that and more. We seek to provide the highest level of care through our highly skilled health care professionals and state of the art technologies.  Call us today and we will be happy to answer any and all of your urological questions.

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4 Types of Urologic Cancers

Category: Cancer

Nothing is more important than your health. It is what allows you to enjoy the things you do, spend time with loved ones, and feel good throughout the day. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, there are many different actionable steps you can take, such as understanding your body and talking to a doctor when something feels wrong or uncomfortable. Being aware of any changes can help protect you against all types of diseases or illnesses. Read on to learn about four different types of urologic cancers, their symptoms, and what to look out for, so you are able to protect your health in the long run.

#1. Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer begins in the glands of the prostate and is the result of abnormal growth of cells in a male’s prostate, which forms a tumor. It is a disease that is common in males over the age of 65, and often treatable when caught in the early stages. Scientists are still not entirely sure what causes prostate cancer, yet certain factors including age, race, genetics, and even diet may play a role in the development of the disease. Therefore, it is crucial to recognize the signs of prostate cancer early and notify your doctor immediately to have a full recovery. Some common symptoms of prostate cancer include frequent urination, weak or interrupted urine stream, painful or bloody urine, blood present in semen, weight loss, fatigue, nausea, swelling of lower extremities, weakness or paralysis in lower limbs. These symptoms might not always be present at the beginning of the disease, but they are important to keep an eye out for. If you are currently experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, the next step is to contact your doctor immediately. There are many different treatment options available, in which a medical professional will be able to help establish the best steps moving forward.

#2. Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer, also referred to as renal cell carcinoma, is another form of urological cancer to be aware of. It occurs when cells grow rapidly in either one or both kidneys that affect your body’s ability to filter the blood to create urine. Certain symptoms of kidney cancer include blood in urine, lower back pain where kidneys are located, abdominal pain and swelling, and more. It is best to talk to your doctor to learn more about this disease, and if you enduring any of these symptoms. Kidney cancer is treatable, but more serious problems can arise if not detected in the initial stages. Smoking, chemical exposure, and prolonged pain medication – all can put someone at an increased risk of developing kidney cancer. Treatment options include surgery, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of these treatments.

#3. Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer usually occurs in older age, but smoking or exposure to dangerous chemicals may increase the risk of development. Most cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed early and easy to treat, but if left alone, bladder cancer can spread quickly to other areas of the body. Therefore, be alert for symptoms such as blood in the urine, painful urination, frequent urination, pain in the abdominal area, and more. Contact your doctor if they sound familiar to you. A medical professional can help you consider treatment options. These generally include Transurethral Resection (TUR), Radical or Partial Cystectomy and Urinary Diversion. Before moving forward, a consultation with your doctor will be necessary.

#4. Testicular Cancer

Although it is generally rare, testicular cancer can affect men of any age but is most common in young men. Symptoms include a lump in the scrotum that can be felt during a self-exam, a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, and a dull pain in the groin and lower abdomen. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor about testicular cancer screening. In certain cases, you can elect to have the affected testicle surgically removed, which has no effect on sexual performance, semen production, or ability to have children. Other options include chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well.

 Urologic Oncologists Near You

Your urological health is so important no matter who you are. To stay healthy, looking out for own body is critical, as well as communicating any changes or uncomfortable feelings with your urologist. At Somerset Urological Associates, we provide optimal care through our trained health care professionals and advanced technologies. We are committed to recognizing each patient’s individual needs with compassion and expertise. Our experienced board-certified physicians are highly educated in all the aspects urology. If you are in need of a checkup or consultation, contact us today.

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3 Benefits of Using Sling Surgery for Incontinence

urologist talking to woman in doctor's office

Urinary stress incontinence is when a small amount of urine leaks from the urethra as a result of activities including coughing, sneezing, exercising, or other stressors. Stress incontinence is the most common type of incontinence suffered by women. In total, this condition affects approximately 13 million people in the United States, 85 percent of which are women. Incontinence is more common in women because of pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. Men are affected too, but that is usually due to the enlargement of the prostate that occurs with aging. The reason stressors like sneezing cause urine to leak is because they put greater abdominal pressure on the bladder.

Sling surgery is one of the most common surgeries that doctors use to treat incontinence. The surgeon creates a “sling” that they then place under the urethra. The sling acts like a hammock and supports the urethra and the neck of the bladder. As a result, this helps to prevent leaks. If you’re looking to prevent incontinence, read more about the benefits of sling surgery. 

1. You Feel Better After Putting This Problem In The Past

Urinary stress incontinence is an inconvenient condition that can cause a lot of undue stress and embarrassment. With sling surgery, you have the ability to now do something about it and put the stress and frustration that comes with the condition behind you. Following a successful sling surgery, a patient will no longer have to worry about urine leaking when they cough or sneeze. This alone can improve their day and their anxiety. In addition, patients will not have to worry about the condition when engaging in physical activity either, possibly opening the door for a healthier lifestyle.

2. Sling Surgery For Incontinence Could Have Additional Health Benefits 

Women are affected at large by this condition due to pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause that all contribute to the weakening of bladder muscles. For some women, sling surgery might have more than one benefit. One study found that surgery for stress urinary incontinence improves symptoms of another form of incontinence, urgency urinary incontinence, in women who have both types of these conditions. Before committing to the surgery, discuss with your doctor your past medical history. This will go a long way in helping you learn whether sling surgery is the right choice for dealing with incontinence. 

3. Sling Surgery Is Less Invasive Than Other Procedures

While the primary benefit is giving people the peace of mind of not having to worry every time they sneeze, another is that sling surgery has high rates of effectiveness compared to the current market. Additionally, slings are less invasive than most other procedures. Before moving forward with a procedure, be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor. Doing so will not only help ease your mind about potential side effects of sling surgery, but it will also help you make a more informed decision about whether or not the surgery is the right choice for you.

Sling Surgery in New Jersey 

If you are ready to move forward with sling surgery today, then it is time to call a professional urologist. Working with a team of experienced urologists will give you the comfort and specialized care needed for an important procedure. At Somerset Urological Associates, we will give you just that and more. Interested in learning about our sling surgery options? Call us today and we will be happy to answer any and all of your questions.

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6 Benefits of Cooled ThermoTherapy for Your Prostate

Category: Men's Health

man discussing his prostate health with a urologist

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, often called BPH, is a condition many men will experience as they age. BPH, commonly referred to as prostate gland enlargement, is not a form of cancer, and it does not increase your chances of having prostate cancer. However, its symptoms can be uncomfortable and disruptive to your everyday life, but treatment can get you back on track to comfortable living. At Somerset Urological Associates, we offer Cooled ThermoTherapy treatment to address BPH symptoms. This safe, non-surgical therapy offers long-term relief, so keep reading to learn more. 

Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia tend to worsen over time and can vary depending on your individual situation. For some men, symptoms can even improve on their own, but if your symptoms are causing you discomfort, treatment is advised. Some common symptoms of prostate gland enlargement include:

  • Dribbling during the end of urination
  • Weak stream of urine that starts and stops
  • Inability to empty your bladder
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate

How Does Cooled ThermoTherapy Benefit Your Prostate?

Cooled ThermoTherapy offers multiple benefits for men experiencing symptoms of BPH. The advanced cooling system utilized by the treatment provides both protection for the urethra and improved comfort for patients during and after treatment. Other benefits of Cooled ThermoTherapy include:

1. Convenience

If you’re busy and have a hectic schedule, as many people do, Cooled ThermoTherapy is the ideal treatment option for you. This non-surgical procedure takes 30 minutes per treatment and is performed right in our Somerville office. You won’t have to worry about rearranging your schedule or being stuck in a doctor’s office for hours at a time.

2. Non-Surgical Treatment Option

The Cooled ThermoTherapy process is a minimally invasive procedure and does not require general anesthesia, which means quicker recovery time and a smaller chance of complications. You may experience slight discomfort, but extensive downtime is not necessary for a complete recovery. Patients may need to wear a temporary catheter for a few days after the treatment, but the protection of the urethra through the cooling process helps promote comfort following the procedure.

3. Quick Recovery

Recovery from Cooled ThermoTherapy requires a few days of non-strenuous activities, but since the therapy does not require a hospital stay or any outpatient care, your recovery should go smoothly. Since general anesthesia is not needed, you can walk out of the doctor’s office immediately afterward and remain coherent and alert, although you will need someone to drive you home. You should be able to resume normal activities within 24-48 hours after your appointment.

4. Improvement of the Flow of Urine

Cooled ThermoTherapy has been proven to provide drastic positive results for those with BPH. Patients often experience an improvement in their symptoms six to twelve weeks following their treatment. You’ll be able to find relief from uncomfortable and inconvenient urinary symptoms, and the flow of urine will improve as well.

5. Excellent, Proven Results

Cooled ThermoTherapy is a medical procedure that is proven safe and effective to correct prostate issues. This treatment option is not associated with high risks of failure and does not have severe side effects that can cause problems in the future, making it an excellent choice for men seeking relief from symptoms caused by BPH.

6. Flexible Coverage Options

Cooled ThermoTherapy is a non-surgical medical procedure that is covered by many health insurance companies. This means that you won’t need to struggle to find a way to afford a treatment that could significantly improve your prostate health and wellbeing. We accept most local and national insurance plans at Somerset Urological Associates, but please contact our billing office at 908-725-1205 with any questions you may have about insurance coverage.

Who is a Candidate for Cooled Thermotherapy?

Are you wondering if Cooled ThermoTherapy is the right choice for you? Our doctors would be happy to discuss the treatment with you, but you may be a candidate for cooled thermotherapy if:

  • You experience mild to severe BPH symptoms
  • You have bladder stones, a urinary tract obstruction, or have blood in your urine
  • You are bleeding from your prostate
  • You can’t fully empty your bladder
  • You have a slow flow of urination

How to Prepare for Your In-Office Cooled Thermotherapy Procedure

You will need to reduce your fluid intake at least 24 hours before your Cooled ThermoTherapy treatment. Keep in mind that reducing fluid intake does not mean to stop drinking fluids altogether! Do not consume caffeinated or alcoholic beverages at least 48 hours before your appointment. Caffeinated drinks include (but are not limited to) coffee, some energy drinks, and sodas. You do not have to stop eating before your treatment, but meals should not be excessive or heavy. You should have a light meal before having the procedure done. The morning of the procedure, prepare a light breakfast, which can include toast, milk, or juice. You should continue to take all prescribed medications as directed unless your urologist advises otherwise.

Cooled ThermoTherapy Treatment Near You in New Jersey

You should never have to live your life worrying about urological symptoms or spend each day uncomfortable. At Somerset Urological Associates, we consistently seek to provide the highest level of care, using state-of-the-art technologies. Our services and procedures are tailored to your personal urological health, and we will discuss your treatment options with you so you are always fully informed about your health. To learn more about Cooled ThermoTherapy and how it can benefit your prostate, or to make an appointment, please contact us at our Somerville office today.

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Why You Should Get Your Prostate Checked Earlier Rather Than Later

Category: Prostate Cancer

doctor and patient talking with chart

 

Nothing is better than having a peace-of-mind, especially regarding health concerns. For men in particular, as they age one common cause of stress they will have to worry about is potential prostate problems. The prostate is located just below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate is a male reproductive gland that helps to produce semen. As men age, the prostate can enlarge and cause major problems. For instance, Prostatitis affects upward of 50% of men in their lifetime. Some common prostate conditions include bacterial infection, dribbling after urination, Prostatitis, Prostate Cancer, and many more. Doctors can provide cancer screenings to help detect symptoms before problems arise, and when dealing with your health it is best to be in the know and keep yourself protected. Here are three reasons to consider getting yourself checked earlier rather than later on.

Know if You Are at Risk for Prostate Cancer

Frequent, painful, or blood in your urination, are all possible signs of prostate problems and indicate that you should speak with your doctor about an exam. The signs and symptoms are not always that clear though, therefore it is important to speak with your doctor early and often so that you have an established and open line of communication. By establishing this communication, you will be able to set up preventative steps, easily schedule a screening if needed, and keep your health a priority. Getting your prostate checked sooner can also help detect signs of Prostate Cancer and other diseases. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that men ages 55 to 69 talk it over with their doctor and then decide for themselves whether they want to undergo screening. Having that conversation with your doctor can go a long way in making the right medical choice for you.

Save Yourself the Stress and Get Checked

While prostate problems or any medical condition can be scary, not taking any action and worrying about whether you are sick or not accomplishes nothing. In fact, experts say that health anxiety disorder is known to affect approximately 4% to 5% of people, a number that might actually be closer to 12% due to possible underreporting. Health anxiety disorder is a condition that causes people to worry too much about whether or not they are sick. All of this chronic worrying can have additional negative consequences. Worrying can interfere with your daily life and things such as appetite, relationships, sleep, and job performance. It can cause negative habits such as overeating, among others, to cope with all of the additional stress. All of this is not good for your mental or physical well-being. So, if you think you might have some prostate issues, it is better to get it checked out and save yourself from stress and anxiety.

Plan Ahead for Prostate Health

Once again, speaking with your doctor means bringing in someone with experience and expertise to help you with any problems you might be having, as well as, answering any questions or concerns. By working with your doctor, you can develop a more personal and convenient care, as well as, get to know your treatment providers better.  Certified physicians have years of experience and can help you formulate a plan, supported by the latest in medical technology and knowledge, to develop a healthier lifestyle, possibly prevent future prostate issues, and address any current problems. When it comes down to it, nothing is more important than your own health, so creating a road map and talking with your doctor can go a long way in keeping you on the right path.

Prostate Screenings Near You

With this in mind, waiting to check in on your health might seem unbearable. Don’t prolong getting your prostate checked any longer. At Somerset Urological Associates, our expert team of board-certified urologists are committed to providing all of our patients with the best comprehensive treatment and care. To learn more about  Somerset Urological Associates, please contact us today with any questions and view our services and procedures to see how we can help you with your urologic concerns today.

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Laparoscopic Surgery vs. Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Category: Surgery, Urology

Surgical room in hospital with robotic technology equipment

A laparoscopy is a medical procedure where your abdomen is examined with a special camera. Traditional surgery on that area requires a long, invasive cut, which is why laparoscopic surgery was invented. Laparoscopic surgery (or “keyhole surgery”) is a minimally invasive surgery on your abdomen area used with the help of the aforementioned special cameras or scope. Because the surgery uses those tiny cameras, there is no longer a need to make big incisions and have an open surgery. 

 

In recent years, more and more patients are opting for robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery. However, in general, these two options – laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery – are recommended by doctors and patients alike for their advantages over traditional open surgery. What are the differences between the two, and what should you consider when choosing one option over the other? 

 

The Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is often used to treat prostate cancer, infertility issues, and other urological problems. In the past, open surgery was the only treatment option, and it was often scary and messy for both the surgeons and the patients. Nowadays, laparoscopic surgery is the norm due to its several advantages. The chief benefit of undergoing laparoscopic surgery is the decreased hospital stay afterward. Most patients recover and are released from the hospital one day after their procedure. Laparoscopic surgery is faster than normal surgery because it’s minimally invasive, and it results in less pain and need for antibiotics. The special cameras and scopes used during laparoscopic surgery allow for the doctor to make precise actions. Despite its quick, minimally invasive process, laparoscopic surgery is a delicate and technically difficult surgery that requires a skilled surgeon.

 

What Are the Benefits of Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery?

Robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery has become increasingly more popular. It’s basically a regular laparoscopic surgery but done with a special robotic machine instead of a real surgeon. The most popular robotic system is the da Vinci System that is currently used all around the world for surgery. During the surgery, the surgeon operates behind the 3-D robotic system and directs its surgical tools. The operating screen that the surgeon observes can magnify more than 10 times onto the surgery area. This allows for more precise movements during the surgery than if the doctor was doing it by himself or herself. 

 

The actual benefits of robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery are the same as regular laparoscopic surgery. You have the added benefit of having more precise and minimally invasive cuts with robotic-assisted surgery, and the magnified operating screen can allow your surgeon to quickly complete the surgery.  Studies have shown that you experience even less pain and a quicker recovery after a robotic surgery than after a regular laparoscopic surgery. Unfortunately, robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery isn’t available at all hospitals, and studies have yet to indicate if it’s actually more cost-effective than regular laparoscopic surgery.

 

Consider Laparoscopic or Robotic Surgery at Somerset Urological

If you are currently suffering from a urological problem that requires examination and possible surgery, consider going to Somerset Urological Associates. We are proud to offer both laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery at our facilities. With these procedures, you are guaranteed to experience less pain, a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker recovery than if you were to undergo regular open surgery. In addition to laparoscopic surgery, we also utilize the latest technology in diagnosing and treating both male and female urological disorders. If you’re experiencing pain or an undiagnosed problem, contact Somerset Urological today and schedule an appointment so we can help you discover the best treatment plan for your condition.

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3 Signs of Male Infertility

urologist speaking to male about infertility signs

For a large number of men, starting their own family is one of their lifelong dreams. Unfortunately, sometimes it isn’t that easy. If you have been trying to conceive a child with no success, it may be due to male infertility. While this may seem like a sensitive topic, it is actually a quite common issue – male infertility accounts for approximately half of all infertility cases. This can be coped with and treated if you know the basic signs of male infertility and reach out to a medical professional for help.

1. Libido and Hormonal Problems

While men are frequently portrayed as having a higher libido than women, due to the greater amount of testosterone they produce, it is possible for a man to have a low sex drive. However, a sudden change in your sex drive may be a cause for concern. It may be an indication of lower than normal levels of testosterone being produced, which is a symptom of an underlying problem. If you suddenly experience erectile dysfunction on a regularly basis, it may be an indication of male infertility.

2. Testicle Pain or Swelling

Testicles can experience pain or swelling due to a number of reasons, but it is always best to seek medical attention as soon as you feel this pain. In addition, inspect your testicles on a regular basis for lumps or vein swelling, as these outward symptoms could be a sign of an internal obstruction in your reproductive system. The testicles produce sperm needed to conceive a child, therefore an issue with that organ could be the cause of any infertility problems you may have.

3. Ejaculation Issues

A sudden inability to ejaculate is also a sign that it is time to visit a doctor. This could be due to several reasons. You may have retrograde ejaculation, a condition where the semen enters the bladder during orgasm. Other ejaculatory problems can be due to certain blood pressure medications you are taking or health problems, such as diabetes. No matter what the case is, having problems ejaculating is a sign that you may have a low sperm count, which would greatly inhibit your ability to reproduce. Be sure to consult with a doctor to find out why you are experiencing this issue – this condition can be treated.

Infertility Treatment at Somerset Urological Associates

You are not alone if you are experiencing any of these signs. Male infertility is a common issue that affects many men nationwide, and it can be treated with the help of a medical professional. At Somerset Urological Associates, we seek to provide the best, dedicated level of care with our team of board certified physicians and next level technologies. We are highly skilled in all aspects of urology and can offer you a variety of services to help you treat urological disorders such as kidney stones, sexual dysfunction or urinary incontinence. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your urological health.

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6 Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

Category: Urology

women with bladder irritationBladder Cancer begins when cancer cells begin to form in the inner layer of the bladder. Bladder cancer is common and can luckily be treated if diagnosed early. It is important to know about any possible risk factors you have for any disease because there may be treatments you can do to lower your overall chances of being diagnosed. Here are 6 risk factors that may predispose you or a loved one to developing bladder cancer.

1. Not Drinking Enough Fluids

It is important for one’s overall health to drink enough fluids, especially water, every day. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps and strain on the body, which may contribute to your risk of developing cancer. Each body needs a specific amount of water. If you take your body weight and divide that by two, that is how many ounces of water you should ideally drink in a day to ensure your body is properly hydrated.

2. Age, Ethnicity & Sex

The chance of being diagnosed with bladder cancer increases with age. 9 out of 10 people who have bladder cancer are over 50 years old. Caucasians are more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer than any other race. In addition, men are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women.

3. Family History of Bladder Problems & Cancer

Having a family history of urinary problems and cancer is a sign that you may have a higher predisposition to developing bladder cancer. Unfortunately, health problems genetically run in the family, so if you know a loved one that had bladder cancer in the past, it is important to begin taking preventative steps for yourself to ensure you decrease any cancer risks that are in your control. Make sure when consulting your doctor about your concerns regarding cancer that you give them a detailed list of your family’s medical history.

4. Personal History of Bladder Problems

A person is more likely to develop bladder cancer if they have a history of dealing with bladder problems. Chronic urinary infections, bladder stones, and other bladder problems such as frequent urination or urinary incontinence can add to the risk that a person may one day develop bladder cancer. Those who use a urinary catheter are also more likely than the average person to be diagnosed.

5. Exposure to Chemicals

Being exposed to certain chemicals, especially industrial chemicals, raises your risk for bladder cancer. This is because, like other cancers, changes in the DNA of your cells. This plays a big role in developing the disease. Workers in the rubber, textile, and paint industries such as painters, machinists, hairdressers, and truck drivers usually have a higher risk of contracting bladder cancer later in their lives because of the chemicals they are exposed to on a daily basis.

6. Smoking

Smoking is by far the biggest risk factor that contributes to a person’s chance of getting bladder cancer. Smoking tobacco through cigarettes, cigars, or pipes greatly increases one’s risk for contracting diseases due to the unhealthy chemicals found in tobacco. Quitting lifelong habits may be tough, but quitting smoking is the best thing one can do for the health of yourself and your family.

Treating Bladder Cancer at Somerset Urological

If you believe that you or a loved one may be at risk for bladder cancer, it is never too late to discuss with a medical professional. At Somerset Urological Associates, we bring the highest level of empathetic care with our team of qualified physicians. We are devoted to addressing your individual needs with our services and procedures, all offered with the latest technology and medical knowledge. If you believe you may be at risk for bladder cancer, don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment today!

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