Personal care for private conditions
Even when they're not life-threatening, urology conditions can strongly impact your quality of life. Via Christi Clinic urologists' wide scope of expertise can help you enjoy a more active, worry-free life.
We provide the complete scope of urological care, from preliminary testing, to precision surgical procedures, through follow-up and recovery. And with minimally invasive surgery available for some procedures, you can enjoy shorter recovery times and fewer complications.
Expert care for patients of all ages:
- Lower urinary tract symptoms
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Male infertility
- Overactive bladder
- Urinary incontinence
- Urethral strictures
- Female reconstruction
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Pediatric urology
- Prostate cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney stones and bladder stones
- Robotic surgery
- Low testosterone
Common urological conditions
PSAs (prostate-specific antigens) are enzymes that can be an indicator of prostate cancer — and other concerns — when found in high numbers. Early detection of an abnormal reading can save your life. If you are in your 50s, talk with your doctor to see if a PSA test is right for you.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the enlargement of the prostate, especially among older men. Symptoms of BPH include a hesitant, interrupted, weak stream; urgency and leaking or dribbling; and frequent urination, especially at night. It is important to tell your doctor if you have urinary problems such as those described above. The symptoms can also signal other, more serious conditions. Learn more
Kidney and ureteral stones
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney when substances that are normally found in the urine – such as calcium, oxalate or phosphorous -- become highly concentrated. A stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract. Kidney stones, which vary in size, may pass on their own or get stuck along the urinary tract, blocking the flow of urine and causing severe pain or bleeding. Learn more
Urological issues in children
Pediatric urology is a surgical subspecialty of medicine dealing with the disorders of children's genitourinary (urinary and reproductive) systems.
The most common problems are those involving disorders of urination, reproductive organs and testes. Learn more
Urinary incontinence (UI)
UI is loss of bladder control. Symptoms can range from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting, and becomes more common with age. Women experience UI twice as often as men.
Most bladder control problems happen when muscles are too weak or too active. There are other causes of incontinence, such as prostate problems and nerve damage. Learn more
Urinary tract infections (UTI)
UTIs can occur in several different locations of the urinary tract, including the bladder, kidneys, ureters and urethra.
Most UTIs are caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and then the bladder. Infections most commonly develop in the bladder, but can spread to the kidneys. Women tend to get UTIs more often because their urethra is shorter and closer to the anus than in men. Menopause also increases the risk of UTI. Learn more
Prostate cancer forms in the tissue of the prostate gland which is approximately the size of a walnut and found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Nearly one in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. There are approximately 250,000 new cases each year with approximately 35,000 patients dying of the disease annually.
Known risks for prostate cancer include race with African-American men being more likely to develop prostate cancer. Another risk factor is age, men who are older than 60 are at increased risk. Family history is also a risk factor, in particular patients with a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Most patients with prostate cancer have no definitive symptoms when it is caught at early stages. Testing for prostate cancer includes an annual prostate specific antigen test (PSA) as well as a digital rectal exam to assess the prostate.
The prostate specific antigen (PSA) test can detect early stage cancer when it is more likely to be cured or controlled. Since it was first used in the 1980s, deaths from prostate cancer have fallen by about 30 percent.
Prostate cancer screening consists of:
- A blood test that measures PSA level
- A physical exam of the prostate
Screening cannot prove you have prostate cancer, but abnormal results may suggest you need more tests. Your urologist will help you decide whether to have a biopsy based upon your age, family history and overall health.
Some signs of advancing prostate cancer are also signs of benign growth within the prostate gland including:
- Weakened urinary stream
- Difficulty emptying the bladder,
- Blood in urine or semen,
- Pelvic pain or bone pain usually indicates progression of the prostate cancer
There are multiple treatment options for prostate cancer which are best discussed with your urologist. However, these can include:
- External beam radiation therapy or cyber knife radiation therapy or prostate seed implant
- Radical prostate surgery (Da Vinci robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy usually requiring removal of pelvic lymph nodes)
- Hormonal therapy and/ or chemotherapy
The most common type of kidney cancer in adults is renal cell carcinoma primarily diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70 years of age with no exact cause identified. Some factors can increase the risks of kidney cancer including:
- Dialysis treatment for kidney failure
- Family history of renal cell carcinoma
- High blood pressure
- Congenital abnormalities of the kidneys
- Polycystic kidney disease
Although most kidney cancers are found incidentally on radiologic imaging for other reasons, kidney cancers can include some symptoms such as abdominal pain, flank pain, blood in the urine and weight loss.
Radiologic imaging can easily diagnose most kidney tumors including renal ultrasound or abdominal CT scan traditionally performed to evaluate the kidney as well as MRI’s and multiple other radiologic imaging.
Treatment for kidney cancer typically includes removal of the kidney which was performed in the past using open surgical techniques and currently more commonly using the da Vinci robotic-assisted techniques to remove either the entire kidney or a portion of the kidney. Most chemotherapy agents will not cure the cancer although it may decrease its growth once the tumor has spread.
While several types of bladder cancer can develop, the most common type in the United States is transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder which often starts as small papillary tumors within the bladder, although less commonly it can be sessile or flat appearing lesions within the bladder.
There are several risk factors that are known to increase the incidence of bladder cancer including:
- Cigarette smoking and other tobacco products
- Chemical exposure
- Radiation treatment
- Chronic infection or indwelling catheters
The typical signs of bladder cancer can include blood in the urine, irritative urinary symptoms including voiding frequently and urgently, incontinence, as well as lower abdominal pain and weight loss.
Bladder cancer is commonly diagnosed by cystoscopy which includes visualizing the bladder with a telescope performed in the office as well as x-ray imaging with CT scans or other x-rays using contrast such as IVP as well as urine cytology which evaluates the urine for abnormal cells which have been passed.
Treatment options include removing the bladder tumor through telescopes placed into the bladder, chemotherapy agents which are placed into the bladder or if advanced it may require surgical removal of the bladder by traditional surgery, laparoscopic techniques, or da Vinci robotic-assisted techniques with alternative drainage of urine into small segment of bowel or a newly developed bladder pouch. There is also partial removal of the bladder, radiation therapy and chemotherapy which are alternative options for advanced disease as well as immunotherapy.
Testicular Cancer occurs most frequently in men between the ages of 15 and 35, although it can occur in older men as well. Rare types of tumors can develop in extremely younger men as well as those of advanced age. Race also plays a part in testicular cancer as Caucasians are more likely to develop the disease than African Americans and Asian Americans.
There are two general categories of tumors including seminomas and non-seminomas. Risk factors include abnormal testicular development, history of testicular cancer, undescended testicles and congenital abnormalities.
The symptoms typically include pain in the testicle or scrotum, a testicular mass which is easily palpable or enlargement of the testicle, weight loss, and back pain. Evaluation typically includes physical examination, scrotal ultrasound, further x-rays to assess for any progression of the disease as well as blood tests which are used as tumor markers including alpha-fetoprotein and chorionic gonadotropin.
Treatment options typically include removal of the affected testicle to assess the type of tumor as well as follow up radiologic imaging and blood testing to assess as to whether the disease has progressed. Further treatment may be necessary including possible radiation therapy or chemotherapy and becoming more popular is observation with careful follow with radiologic imaging to be sure that the disease is not recurrent in both that have been treated with chemotherapy and radiation as well as those that are simply being followed after removal of the testicle alone. The disease can progress into the lymph nodes and other parts of the abdomen as well as lungs, spine and brain with advanced disease. The prognosis in patients even with advanced disease oftentimes is quite good.
Sensitive concerns require a special kind of care. Have your doctor call Via Christi Clinic for your referral: 316-274-8185