General Health

What is a Bladder Diverticulum?

The Urology Group of Princeton is pleased to share this informative article on bladder diverticulum courtesy of the Urology Care Foundation. What is a Bladder Diverticulum?   A bladder diverticulum is a pouch in the bladder wall that a person may either be born with (“congenital”) or get later (“acquired”). A congenital bladder diverticulum forms when some of the bladder lining pokes through a weak part in the bladder wall. A congenital diverticulum is most often found when you are still a child, and there is often only 1 pouch. They often don’t need to be treated. Acquired bladder diverticula (more than 1 diverticulum) are most often caused by a block in the bladder outlet (such as from a swollen prostate or scars in the urethra), the bladder not working well because of nerve injury or, rarely, from prior bladder surgery. With acquired diverticula, many pouches often form. These are most often seen in older men, who tend to get bladder outlet blocks more often. How Does the Bladder Usually Work? The bladder is a balloon-shaped organ that stores urine, which is made in the kidneys. It is held in place by pelvic muscles in the lower part of your bell. When it isn’t full, the bladder is relaxed. Muscles in the bladder wall allow it to expand as it fills with urine. Nerve signals in your brain let you know that your bladder is getting full. Then you feel the need to go to the bathroom. The brain tells the bladder muscles to squeeze (or “contract”). This forces the urine out of your body through your urethra. Symptoms Most often, bladder diverticula have no direct signs. They are found while looking for causes of other urinary problems. Some problems bladder diverticula can be linked to are: urinary tract infections bladder stones urine flowing backwards into the kidneys (“reflux”) bladder tumors trouble peeing Diagnosis Bladder diverticula can be found with an x-ray test of the bladder. The test is done by filling the bladder with a dye that shows up well in x-rays (called a “contrast”) and taking pictures. Your […]

Interstitial Cystitis(IC)/Bladder Pain Syndrome

The Urology Group of Princeton would like to share this informative article, concerning Interstitial Cystitis(IC)/Bladder Pain Syndrome, courtesy of the Urology Care Foundation. For more information or to address any urology-related concerns, please call the office (609.924.6487) to schedule a consultation and exam. What is Interstitial Cystitis(IC)/Bladder Pain Syndrome? Interstitial cystitis (IC)/bladder pain syndrome (BPS) is a chronic bladder health issue. It is a feeling of pain and pressure in the bladder area. Along with this pain are lower urinary tract symptoms which have lasted for more than 6 weeks, without having an infection or other clear causes. Symptoms range from mild to severe. For some patients the symptoms may come and go, and for others they don’t go away. IC/BPS is not an infection, but it may feel like a bladder infection. Women with IC/BPS may feel pain when having sex. The more severe cases of IC/BPS can affect your life and your loved ones. Some people with IC/BPS have other health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other pain syndromes. The bladder and kidneys are part of the urinary system, the organs in our bodies that make, store, and pass urine. You have 2 kidneys that make urine. Then urine is stored in the bladder. The muscles in the lower part of your abdomen hold your bladder in place. How the Urinary System Works When it is not full of urine, the bladder is relaxed. When nerve signals in your brain let you know that your bladder is getting full, you feel the need to pass urine. If your bladder is working normally, you can put off urination for some time. Once you are ready to pass urine, the brain sends a signal to the bladder. Then the bladder muscles squeeze (or “contract”). This forces the urine out through the urethra, the tube that carries urine from your body. The urethra has muscles called sphincters. They help keep the urethra closed so urine doesn’t leak before you’re ready to go to the bathroom. These sphincters relax when the bladder contracts. Symptoms Pain The symptoms of IC/BPS […]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us (March 17th) and it’s a day packed with parades, good luck charms, all things green and, for many… alcohol. The Urology Group of Princeton wishes all a very happy St. Patrick’s Day and offers a gentle reminder of the urological benefits to drinking in moderation. Moderate alcohol consumption is generally considered to be no more than 7 glasses a week consumed in no less than 3-days. The benefits of this for your overall urological health include the bullet points below. It may keep your sperm as healthy and fit as possible. It may minimize the symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB), a condition that typically occurs when nerve signals between your bladder and your brain tell your bladder to empty even when it is not full. It is believed to lower the risk, and reduce the symptoms of, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), aka prostate enlargement,  a non-cancerous condition that causes the prostate gland to increase in size. Heavy alcohol consumption is also a risk factor for Renovascular Diseases, which are defined as diseases of the arteries that lead to the kidneys that can result in high blood pressure and/or kidney failure. You may want to eliminate alcohol completely if you are trying to conceive as it may impact male fertility. For more information or to address any urology-related concerns, please call the office (609.924.6487) to schedule a consultation and exam. Photo courtesy of Elevate on Unsplash

What Every Woman Should Know About a Man’s Urological Health

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the Urology Group of Princeton would like to share this informative article, courtesy of the Urology Care Foundation. What Every Woman Should Know About a Man’s Urological Health Attention ladies! You play an important part in keeping your husband, boyfriend, brother, son or friend healthy. Here are a few things you should keep in mind regarding your male loved one’s urological health. Erectile dysfunction is often a sign of something more serious. About 70 percent of erectile dysfunction (ED) cases are caused by existing medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease. The more advanced these diseases are, the more at risk a man is for ED. In most cases, ED is treatable. If your loved one has ED, encourage him to seek medical care. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. This number jumps to 1 in 5 if he’s African-American and 1 in 3 if he has a family history of prostate cancer. Men should know their risk and talk to their doctors about whether prostate cancer screening is right for them. Male infertility is more common than you think. In about 40 percent of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility. If he has blood in his urine, pay attention. This can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, kidney stone, enlarged prostate or an early sign of bladder or kidney cancer. All men who have blood in the urine should see their doctor. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men ages 15 to 35. Although there is nothing to prevent testicular cancer, if the cancer is caught early, there is a high cure rate. Signs of testicular cancer include persistent pain or a bump in the testicular area. Finally, if they are going to the bathroom more than three times each night, they should be seen by a doctor. This could be a sign of a prostate or bladder problem, or […]

How Urology Can Affect Sexual Health

Your Sexual Health is Important People often keep quiet about their sexual health. We tend to keep this part of our lives private. But really, sexual health may be key for our relationships and self-esteem. Dr. Akanksha Mehta, Associate Professor from the Emory University School of Medicine and an expert in this topic says, “Our sexual health is linked to our overall physical health, urologic health and mental health.” Dr. Mehta hopes people will talk with their doctors about sexual health. She says, “I think there is too much false information online. It can be hard to distinguish between reliable and non-reliable sources. Good sexual health starts by talking with a doctor you trust. Doctors can direct you to the most reliable information. If they cannot answer your questions, they will refer you to someone who can.” What urologic conditions could affect sexual health? Many urologic conditions could affect sexual health. For example: An infection or inflammation, like: Prostatitis – pain in and around the pelvic area, starting with the prostate. It can happen to men of all ages. Some causes include infection from bacteria and inflammation from injury or infection. Orchitis – swelling or pain in one or both testicles, usually from an infection or virus. Epididymitis – swelling or pain in the back of the testicle in the coiled tube (epididymis) that stores and carries sperm. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) – when bacteria gets into your urine and travels up to your bladder. UTIs are very common. Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (BPS) – a chronic bladder health issue. It is a feeling of pain and pressure in the bladder area. Along with this pain are lower urinary tract symptoms that have lasted for more than six weeks, without having an infection or other clear causes. These can lead to painful sex. Some people wonder if they’ll put their partner at risk. A physical concern, like: Urinary Incontinence – leaking of urine that you cannot control. It affects both men and women. Overactive bladder – the name for a group of urinary symptoms. It is not a disease. Some […]

Grow a Mo, Save a Bro!

Meant to inspire donations, conversations, and real change for men’s health issues, the phrase “Grow a Mo, Save a Bro” is the slogan for Movember, aka No-Shave November or Mustache November. This month long, annual event began in Australia, in 2004, when a group of friends decided to raise awareness of the need for early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments for men. Ultimately, they hoped to reduce the number of preventable deaths faced by men. To raise awareness, they encourage men to grow a mustache to remind each of us of the importance of men’s health. Since 2003, The Movember Foundation has empowered millions of men and women to join the global men’s health movement. The connections created and the conversations generated have helped to raise over $700 million and helped fund more than 1,200 breakthrough men’s health projects in 21 countries! Movember is focused on three specific health issues to men: Prostate cancer Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men in the U.S. This walnut-sized and shaped gland tends to grow bigger as a man ages. If detected early, men have a 98% chance of survival beyond five years. If detected late, men have only a 26% chance of survival beyond five years. Testicular cancer Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 15-34 in the U.S. In most cases, the outcome for men with testicular cancer is very good — a 95% chance of survival. Mental health and suicide prevention Statistically, three out of four suicides are men. Although Movember shines a spotlight on these often overlooked men’s issues, every day of the year should be a day devoted to awareness and prevention of prostate and testicular cancers as well as depression and suicide. Here are some positive steps we can all take… Stay connected with other male friends to catch up and check in on one another. Have open conversations; be there for each other, listening and giving of your time. At the age of 40, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer and having a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. […]

Low Testosterone Symptoms and Treatment

Testosterone is the sex hormone that helps boys become men; it is key during puberty and the development of male physical features. Testosterone helps men maintain muscle strength and mass, facial and body hair, and a deeper voice; it is also needed for men to produce sperm. Testosterone levels can affect men’s sex drive, erections, mood, muscle mass, and bone density. After age 30, most men begin to experience a gradual decline in testosterone; however, there are a number of other possible causes for low testosterone, including: Injury to the testicles Testicular cancer or treatment for testicular cancer Hormonal disorders Infection HIV/AIDS Chronic liver or kidney disease Type 2 diabetes Obesity Some medicines and genetic conditions can also lower a man’s testosterone score, and, in some cases, the cause is unknown. There are many sexual and non-sexual symptoms that can be indicative of low testosterone. Sexual signs include: Diminished/Low sex drive Weaker and/or fewer erections Inability to maintain an erection Non sexual signs include: Increase in body fat Diminished energy Reduced muscle mass Depression Anemia (low iron) Reduced Bone Mass Having a gradual decline in your testosterone level as you age is to be expected; however, treatment may be considered if you’re experiencing symptoms related to low testosterone. A blood test can accurately determine your testosterone level; a man’s normal total testosterone range is about 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) to about 800ng/dL, depending on the lab. If you have any concerns, or experience any of the associated low testosterone symptoms listed above, contact the Urology Group of Princeton to schedule an appointment. The board certified physician/surgeons at the Urology Group of Princeton are highly trained to evaluate your symptoms, perform applicable tests, and develop the proper treatment plan, which may include Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month!

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is about being aware and informed because prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death of men in the United States (lung cancer is #1). The good news though is that, if diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent. While there is currently is no way to prevent prostate cancer, there are recommendations that may reduce your risk. And, as an added benefit, it is believed that these recommendations actually help reduce the risk for most forms of cancer. Eat healthy and choose a low-fat diet Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains Maintain a healthy weight Stay physically active Avoid tobacco Get regular checkups/screenings Regular checkups/screenings are particularly important because prostate cancer generally doesn’t have early symptoms. Also, the symptoms that may show (e.g. difficult/painful urination, trouble getting an erection, etc.), can be the same as for other non-cancerous conditions; this makes prostate cancer hard to diagnose from symptoms alone. Given that, the Urology Group of Princeton recommends an annual checkup/screening consisting of a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. A DRE is a test where the doctor puts a gloved finger in the rectum to feel the prostate. A PSA test is a blood test that can find a prostate related problem. Abnormalities found in either test may indicate the need for additional testing such as urinalysis, genomic/genetic testing, imaging, and biopsy. Early detection is the key; call the Urology Group of Princeton at 609.924.6487 to schedule your prostate cancer screening.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month & PSA Testing

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, in anticipation of that, the Urology Group of Princeton would like to take the opportunity to remind you that, if you haven’t already done so this year, it’s time to set up your PSA screening. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test detects the presence of a protein produced by cells in the prostate gland. It’s normal to have a low PSA level; however, when there is a problem with the prostate, such as cancer, it causes PSA levels to rise. Screening with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test has been instrumental in minimizing the number of deaths from prostate cancer. The test involves drawing a sample of blood that is then submitted to a laboratory for analysis. PSA levels are commonly expressed in nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL). Although there is no specific normal or abnormal level of PSA in the blood, and levels may vary over time in the same man, an individual with a high PSA level, usually greater than 4.0 ng/mL, may be referred for further testing. Additional testing is warranted because, although prostate cancer can indeed cause elevated levels of PSA, there are also noncancerous conditions that can increase the PSA level. So, while the PSA test can detect high levels of PSA in the blood, it doesn’t necessarily mean that cancer is present. Your urologist will determine if additional testing is required; it may include a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE), a urine test (to check for a urinary tract infection, and imaging tests, such as a transrectal ultrasound, x-rays, or cystoscopy. For more information about prostate cancer, including detection, symptoms, and treatment options, please call the Urology Group of Princeton, at 609.924.6487, to schedule an appointment. Photo courtesy of Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

Hydrate to Help Prevent Kidney Stones

Summer is kidney stone season due to the heat. Here are some great tips, courtesy of the Urology Care Foundation, for staying hydrated and avoiding stones. Half of people who have had a kidney stone will develop another one. A key way to reduce the risk of forming stones is to drink extra water. This dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones. To prevent repeat stones, try to drink at least 3 quarts (about ten 10-ounce glasses) of liquid a day. The amount of liquid you need to drink depends on the weather and your activity level. If you live, work, or exercise in hot weather, you may need more liquid to replace the fluid you lose through sweat. Here are some tips to drink more water: Add color and flavor to your water without the calories by freezing grapes, or lemon, lime, or orange peels, and using them instead of ice cubes. In winter, drink hot water with lemon and honey. Though water is best, other liquids such as citrus drinks may also help prevent kidney stones. Some studies show that citrus drinks, such as lemonade and orange juice, protect against kidney stones because they contain citrate, which stops crystals from turning into stones. Choose sparkling or mineral water instead of soda. Use an app to track how much water you drink. Download one to your phone to set daily reminders and alarms. Mark lines on your water bottle so that you know exactly how much you should have sipped by different points throughout the day. If you have kidney stones, you may need to follow a special diet. First, your doctor will run tests to find out what type of stones you form. From these, the doctor can determine which diet changes may be right for you. To prevent calcium stones, cut down on salty foods like cheese, most frozen foods and meats, canned soups and vegetables, salty snacks, bottled salad dressings, pickles and olives. To prevent oxalate stones, you may be told to reduce foods with high oxalate levels such as spinach, rhubarb and almonds. […]