General Health

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. […]

June is Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month, a time dedicated to making the health of men a priority and raising awareness of urology-related conditions and diseases that exclusively affect men. These urological maladies include prostate cancer, enlarged prostate, testicular cancer, erectile dysfunction, and peyronie’s disease. If COVID-19 caused you to miss routine screening or annual physical, now is the perfect time to call your urologist and schedule an appointment. In the words of Harris M. Nagler, MD, president of the Urology Care Foundation, “Men’s Health Month is a call for men to take charge of their own health. Many men avoid seeking medical care because they fear negative outcomes, think their condition will improve on its own or feel it’s a sign of weakness. Some also put off taking care of themselves and do not incorporate healthy habits into their daily lives. Good health practices, including seeking the medical advice from healthcare professionals, can help avoid the devastating consequences of untreated conditions or treatment delay. Now is the time for men to take their health seriously.” Screening: Prostate cancer screening is recommended for men who are between 55 to 69 years old; however, some men with a higher risk for prostate cancer should begin screening as early as age 40. The higher risk group includes African American men and men with a father, brother, or son diagnosed with prostate. Testicular cancer can affect males at any age; however, it is most often found in men between the ages of 15 to 44. The good news is, with early diagnosis, it can be cured. To catch testicular cancer early, learn about the early signs of the disease, learn how to do a testicular self-exam, and meet with your doctor immediately if you detect a suspicious lump, or have swelling or pain in the area. Lifestyle Improvements: Review your diet and commit to eating healthier. Why? A diet rich in natural fiber, such as from fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fatty fish, may reduce testicular and prostate cancer risk and help prevent erectile dysfunction. Some studies have shown that regular physical exercise may […]

Innovations in the Treatment of BPH

Although there is no cure for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, there are many useful options for treating the problem. Treatments focus on prostate growth, which is the cause of BPH symptoms. Once prostate growth starts, it often continues unless medical therapy is started. The prostate grows in two different ways. In one type of growth, cells multiply around the urethra and squeeze it, much like you squeeze a straw. The second type of growth is middle-lobe prostate growth in which cells grow into the urethra and the bladder outlet area. This type of prostate growth typically requires surgery. The first line of care for treating BPH is often medication. Doctors may prescribe an alpha blocker to relax the prostate, a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor to reduce the prostate’s size, or both. While medications are helpful for many patients, some may impact a man’s sexual function or only reduce, not eliminate symptoms if the patient has a moderate to severe case of BPH. In cases where patients have moderate to severe BPH or have a middle-lobe growth and need further treatment, there are a range of BPH-related surgical procedures, including ones that are less invasive than older surgeries. A patient and his doctor will choose the best option based on the size and shape of the prostate, as well as the patient’s preference and overall medical condition. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) was considered the gold standard surgical treatment for many years. It involved “shaving” the enlarged prostate tissues with an electric current delivered through a wire loop. While this technique worked well, its’ side effects could include bleeding, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Today, two newer procedures are performed in the urologist’s office. For patients with mild to moderate BPH with no middle lobe, there is a stapling procedure known as UroLift where the physician places the patient under local anesthesia or conscious sedation and lifts and staples the prostate to open up the urethra. Because it pulls the prostate out of the way, this approach offers rapid relief, but it cannot be done if […]

April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

This month, we’d like to share the following article, courtesy of the Urology Care Foundation. April is Testicular Cancer Awareness month. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), testicular cancer is relatively rare . Roughly 1 out of every 250 men will develop the disease in their lifetime. However, the incidence rate of testicular cancer has been on the rise over the past several decades, and an estimated 9,310 men will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor One of the most important things you can do after being diagnosed is to have an ongoing, open dialogue with your doctor to make sure you stay informed and active about your care. Here is a list of questions to bring to your appointment. Tip: bring a notebook to write down their answers, or plan to record them on your phone. 1. What coping mechanisms do you recommend? A cancer diagnosis significantly impacts not only your physical health, but your mental and emotional well-being. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and considered normal reactions. Your health care team is an indispensable resource for helping you find the support you need to cope. And patients with more social support usually feel less anxious and depressed and report having a better quality of life. 2. What type of testicular cancer do I have and what stage is my tumor? The better informed you are about your specific diagnosis, the better you’ll be able to make decisions on your own behalf. There are two main types of testicular cancer , known as seminomas and non-seminomas. Knowing how advanced the cancer is, or what stage it’s in, will also determine your treatment options. 3. What treatment plan is right for me? The type of treatment your doctor will recommend will depend on your specific diagnosis and type of testicular cancer. Generally speaking, treatment options for testicular cancer include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. 4. What lifestyle changes should I make? The Testicular Cancer Foundation (TCF) urges all men to be advocates for their own health. This […]

Potential New Treatment for Kidney Stones

  • Kidney stone treatments

At the Urology Group of Princeton, we continually stay abreast of new developments, and potential treatments, in the field of Urology. For your information, we are sharing an interesting development on the forefront of kidney stone treatment. Kidney stones generally leave the body without a doctor’s intervention; however, it can be a slow, painful process. MIT researchers have identified a potential new approach they hope will help patients pass kidney stones faster and with less pain. In a lab dish, cells from human ureters (the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder) were exposed to 18 different drugs and, in so doing, it was found that two were most effective in relaxing the cells: nifedipine, currently used to treat high blood pressure, and a rho kinase inhibitor, used in the treatment of glaucoma. In tests on pigs, injecting these two medications together nearly eliminated painful ureteral contractions. Subsequent tests found no traces of the drugs in the bloodstream; implying that this medication remains in the ureter, reducing the risk of systemic side effects. The researchers hope to eventually test the treatment in humans to determine the optimal doses needed to help stones pass faster. For tips on avoiding kidney stones, check out our blog post “Tips for the Prevention of Kidney Stones”. If you have questions or concerns about your kidneys or kidney stone treatments, call the Urology Group of Princeton at 609.924.6487 or schedule an appointment online. The board certified physicians/surgeons at the Urology Group are experts trained to evaluate your symptoms, perform applicable tests, and develop the proper treatment plan.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, will ED keep you from rising to the occasion?

At some, most men will experience problems getting or keeping an erection for a variety of reasons, which are not always due to an actual physical issue. Stress or anxiety can cause erection issues; however, some men do develop a medical condition called erectile dysfunction, or ED. Erectile dysfunction is a condition that occurs when the penis does not receive enough blood to produce an erection adequate for sexual intercourse. ED is diagnosed when this happens repeatedly and affects a man’s ability to sustain an active sex life. While erectile problems are commonly thought to be an issue for older men, ED can, and does, affect younger men too. If you suffer from ED, the good news is that there are many treatment options available. Counseling Life-impacting issues or even everyday stress can trigger erectile dysfunction. Talking about them with a licensed therapist can ease sexual anxiety and help you feel more confident. Medication ED medicines, generally pills (e.g. Levitra, Cialis, Viagra) are usually the first thing prescribed to men with erectile dysfunction. Taken anywhere from 15 minutes to 36 hours before sex, depending on the product, they work well for about 80% of men experiencing ED. If the pills don’t work, or aren’t safe for you to take, your doctor may prescribe a drug (alprostadil) that helps boost blood flow to the penis, triggering an erection within minutes. It is administered by injection or suppository pellets placed inside the penis. Penile Pump/Vacuum A penile pump/vacuum device improves firmness by boosting blood flow to the penis. About 80% of men who use the device correctly get an erection hard enough for sex. Often used for penis rehabilitation, usually after prostate surgery, your doctor will design a regimen aimed at restoring normal blood flow to the penis, thereby allowing for a spontaneous erection. It may, however, take several months to see results. Surgery If all other ED treatments have failed, your doctor may recommend surgery; i.e. an implant (prosthesis) in the penis or vascular reconstruction surgery. The causes of ED vary widely; they can be caused by psychological, neurological, or lifestyle […]

Happy New Year

  • Happy New Year

Happy New Year, from The Urology Group of Princeton! To kick off 2021, we’re providing a brief overview of urology courtesy of the Urology Care Foundation. What is Urology? Urology is a part of health care that deals with a lot of different body parts. This includes body parts that form the Urinary System and Male Reproductive System. If you have a problem with a body part in these two systems, you may need to see a urologist. The Urinary System Many of your body parts work with each other to form the Urinary System. Urine is taken out of the body if these parts work with each other in the right order. This allows normal urination to happen. For both men and women, the main parts of the system are Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder and Urethra. Urine is produced in the kidneys. It flows through tubes called ureters, and into the bladder. Urine leaves the body through the urethra. How the Kidneys Work The kidneys are fist-size organs that make urine. They are found on both sides of the spine behind the liver, stomach, pancreas and bowels. Healthy kidneys work like clockwork to turn extra water and waste into urine. How the Ureters Work Urine flows out of the kidneys and into the ureters. Ureters are thin tubes of muscle that connect the kidneys to the bladder. Ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. How the Bladder Works The bladder is a hollow, balloon-shaped organ. It is mostly made of muscle. It stores urine until you are ready to go to the bathroom to release it. The bladder helps you urinate. The brain tells it to tighten and force the urine out. How the Urethra Works Urine leaves the body through a hollow tube connected to the bladder. This tube is called a urethra. The Male Reproductive System Many body parts work with each other to form the Male Reproductive System. The purpose is for each part to work in the right order so a male can have sex. During sex, you may be able to fertilize a […]

10 Foods Your Bladder Will Fall in Love With

The Urology Group of Princeton is please to share this excellent, informative article from the Urology Care Foundation. If you have a sensitive bladder, you will not have to miss out on tasty foods this fall. The key is to know which foods are more likely to irritate your bladder and which ones are more likely to soothe. In general, you will want to avoid coffee, alcohol, citrus fruits, tomato-based products, artificial sweeteners and spicy foods. Read on to learn about 10 bladder-friendly foods. Pears. They are good fall fruits that generally begin to ripen in September and sometimes October depending on the region. Pears are a good source of fiber and about 100 calories per serving. Bananas. Typically available in grocery stores year-round, bananas are great as snacks, toppings for cereals or in smoothies. Green beans. At about 31 calories per 1-cup serving, green beans will add some color to your plate. You can eat them raw, add them to salads or roast them with a little olive oil. Winter squash. Do not let the name fool you. Winter squash are available in both fall and winter. Squash varieties include acorn, butternut and spaghetti. Potatoes. Need a bladder-friendly comfort food when the weather cools down? Try white potatoes or sweet potatoes (yams). Lean proteins. Examples include low-fat beef, pork, chicken, turkey and fish. Especially when baked, steamed or broiled, they are unlikely to bother your bladder. Whole grains. Quinoa, rice and oats are just a few examples of whole grains. They come in many varieties and are generally not expensive. Breads. Overall, breads are bladder-friendly and a nice addition to meals. Bread is also great for delicious turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving. Nuts. Almonds, cashews and peanuts are healthy snacks and rich in protein. Eggs. Also rich in protein, eggs are on several lists as one of the “least bothersome” foods for bladder conditions. For more information, or to discuss urology related symptoms or concerns, please contact us, at 609.924.6487, or click here, to schedule an appointment.

November is Bladder Health Awareness Month

November is Bladder Health Awareness Month and we’d like to remind you that The Urology Group of Princeton now offers Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) as an adjunct to patients with overactive bladder (OAB) for whom behavioral therapy or pharmacology has not sufficiently addressed the associated symptoms of urinary urgency, urinary frequency, and urge incontinence. Also known as Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation, PTNS is a minimally invasive supplementary treatment option for overactive bladder that has been found to be effective at reducing the number of times a person with OAB needs to urinate. Performed as an out-patient procedure, PTNS requires 30-minute treatments once-a-week for 12 weeks and may require ongoing treatments, every 3-weeks or so, to sustain the improvements. For many of our patients, improvements are noticeable by the 6th week. This low-risk, non-surgical treatment works by indirectly providing electrical stimulation to the nerves responsible for bladder and pelvic floor function. PTNS is a form of electro-acupuncture and the most common side-effects are temporary and minor. For a more detailed description of the procedure and possible side-effects, please refer to our earlier post entitled “Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Overactive Bladder”. For more information on Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation and to find out if it is right for you, please contact the Urology Group of Princeton, at 609.924.6487, to schedule a consultation.

Don’t Skip Your Immunizations; Here’s Why…

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated postponing a lot of things: however, immunizations, including the flu vaccine, should not be one of them. As a vital part of your health care, it’s important to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2020 immunization schedules. We recommend getting the flu vaccine as soon as you can as it is quite possible to get the flu and COVID-19 simultaneously. If you haven’t had the flu vaccine and get symptoms, you may dismiss them as the flu when, in fact, you may have COVID-19. And having both the flu and COVID-19 simultaneously increases your risk of complications; especially if you have other health issues, such as lung problems, diabetes, or a compromised immune system. If you’re concerned about visiting a health care provider during the pandemic, keep in mind that most providers have put strict protocols in place to maintain patient and staff safety. If you’re not sure, call ahead and ask. From an altruistic perspective, vaccines aren’t only about giving you immunity and protecting you from an infection; they’re also about preventing you from spreading an infection. So, not only are you protecting yourself, you’re protecting your loved ones, your friends, and your community. As always, to discuss specific urological concerns or symptoms, please contact us, at 609.924.6487, or click here, to schedule an appointment.