Urology Specialists of Milford, LLC Blog

Posts for tag: Urologist

Kidney stones form when urine is concentrated, and the minerals crystallize and stick together. Passing the stones can be extremely painful, and the pain is worse the larger they are.

Normally, drinking a lot of water can help flush out the stones before they get to be too large to pass through the ureter. If you have abdominal pain and you’re wondering whether it may be a kidney stone, let’s talk about what the symptoms are and what can be done about them:

Symptoms of a Kidney Stone

If you have a kidney stone, you will experience one or more of the following:

  1. The increased need to urinate
  2. Severe pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin from the sides and back, below the ribs
  3. Pain in the abdomen that comes in waves and changes in intensity
  4. Painful urination
  5. Discolored urine that is cloudy, pink, reddish, or brown, and has a foul odor
  6. Nausea and vomiting
  7. Fever and chills
  8. Only urinating in small amounts
  9. Pain that feels like it’s moving around

See a doctor right away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms listed above. Do not attempt to self-treat it, because the stone could become larger and more difficult to pass through your system.

What Causes Kidney Stones?

There are actually several different types of kidney stones that form due to a number of different reasons, including the following:

  • Calcium stones form when you have too much calcium, phosphate, vitamin D, and other substances in your system, and too little liquid to flush them out.
  • Struvite stones form in response to a urinary tract infection or other types of infection.
  • Cystine stones are caused by a disorder that causes the kidneys to excrete too much of a certain type of amino acid (cystinuria).
  • Uric acid stones form if you don’t drink enough fluids or you eat a diet that is very high in protein.

To prevent these stones from recurring, drink lots of water to ensure a high-enough urine output to flush any potential small stones. Certain foods may be contributing to the formation of stones, such as salts, animal proteins, and oxalate-rich foods like chocolate, soy, nuts, tea, and certain vegetables.

If you have had a kidney stone, stay away from calcium supplements. Calcium is OK in your food, but you do not need it in concentrated supplemental form.

How Are Kidney Stones Treated?

Kidney stones that cause problems may require medical intervention. Depending on the size and location of the stones, the doctor may recommend extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). This procedure uses sound waves that are targeted at the stones to break them up into smaller pieces, so they can be passed in less than an hour.

If the stone is small but is stuck either in the ureter or the kidney, the doctor may go in through the urethra and bladder. Once the stone is located, the doctor will use a thin lighted ureteroscope with a camera and special tools to either break it apart or to extract it.

Urologists in Massachusetts

If you think you might have a kidney stone and are in the Milford area, contact us right away at Urology Specialists of Milford.

Call us at (508) 473-6333 or request an appointment online now, and let us give you an evaluation and proper treatment so you can start feeling better again.

The symptoms of an enlarged prostate can become a problem for men as they age. You may have been the kind of person who never suffered from an overactive bladder when, all of a sudden, it seems like you are waking up to use the restroom every night. This increased frequency of nighttime urination (nocturia) can be one of the first signs of an enlarged prostate.

Nearly 50 percent of all men suffer from an enlarged prostate by the age of 60, according to the American Urological Association.

The telltale signs of an enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), include having difficulty emptying your bladder, having to urinate frequently or feeling like you need to urinate and not being able to. Symptoms like these, unfortunately, can start slowly before they begin to affect your daily life. Most men experience symptoms when the enlarged prostate blocks the free flow of urine from your bladder through your urethra. 

Not only is an enlarged prostate uncomfortable, but it can also be painful, frustrating, and put you at risk for other health issues. If you aren’t able to fully empty your bladder, you have a higher risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI), bladder stones, or having blood in the urine. 

Although an enlarged prostate may seem like an embarrassing problem, it’s actually incredibly common. Thankfully, there are plenty of remedies that can help relieve the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, including: 

Alpha Blockers

While alpha blocker medications do not actually reduce the size of an enlarged prostate, they do help to relax your muscles. So, while your prostate may still be causing a urinary tract blockage, relaxed muscles around the bladder allows you to urinate more easily without pain, strain, or frustration.

Noninvasive Therapy

Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT), is a type of treatment that uses a microwave of sorts to heat and destroy prostate tissue that is blocking urine flow. Considered a minimally invasive treatment, TUMT involves inserting a narrow antenna through the penis tip to the location of the urethra blockage. This type of treatment can help reduce urinary frequency and urgency, and make it easier for you to empty your bladder. 

Surgical Procedures 

There are plenty of options to relieve the symptoms of an enlarged prostate if you are open to a more invasive approach. 

Your doctor can insert a stent, or small metal coil, in your urethra in order to widen it and keep it open. This is usually performed as an outpatient procedure.

A transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP) involves making one or two small incisions to open the urinary channel.

One of the most common types of surgery for an enlarged prostate is a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), which surgically removes the overgrown prostate tissue. 

Prostate laser surgery uses concentrated light energy to destroy prostate tissue. The advantages of this type of laser surgery include less bleeding, a less invasive procedure and faster recovery. 

To learn more about benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), contact the Urology Specialists of Milford. Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, a board-certified and highly experienced urologist, specializes in urological disorders, especially prostate enlargement and its symptoms. To schedule your consultation, call us at (508) 473-6333 or use our convenient appointment request form.

Kidney stones can develop in your body and you may not even know it – until a stone moves through your kidney or passes into the ureter (the passageway connecting the kidney and bladder) and causes terrible abdominal pain.

Kidney stones are formed by a buildup of concentrated salts, minerals, and other substances in your urine. These minerals can start to crystallize and stick together in large masses; a hardened mass is called a kidney stone. 

A stone can remain in your kidney for some time, and you may not even realize it until it starts to travel out from your kidney and to your ureter or bladder. Your body wants to expel it with your urine, and this can cause excruciating pain. 

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Sometimes the stones are small enough to cause no symptoms at all – they just pass through with the urine like usual. Other times, you may start to feel pain as a kidney stone travels through the narrow ureter. 

The movement of a stone can also affect your urination patterns, causing the sense of needing to urinate frequently. Some of the signs and symptoms you may experience are:

  • Pain in your sides, lower back, or under the ribs
  • Pain in the lower abdomen and groin area
  • Difficulty or pain during urination
  • Brown, pink, or red urine
  • Cloudy, fishy, or foul-smelling urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Frequent urination in small amounts
  • Fever and chills (signs of infection)

 What Type of Doctor Should I See About a Kidney Stone?

If you pass a kidney stone, it’s likely that there are more inside your body. You’ll want to ensure that if you do pass any more stones, that any future ones are passed as painlessly as possible – and also to prevent your body from forming more.

If you are having unexplained abdominal pains, you should visit with a doctor immediately and ask for an analysis. If you do have kidney stones, they will likely recommend that you increase your water intake and to wait for the stones to pass with your urine. If a stone has become lodged, seek medical attention immediately as this may require surgery. 

Diets high in protein and salt can cause more crystal-forming substances to remain in the kidneys. Be sure to stay properly hydrated and maintain a nutritious diet.

A balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids can reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. If you are not drinking enough water each day, your urine can become more heavily concentrated, creating a perfect environment for stones to develop.

Urologist in Massachusetts

If you’re experiencing lower abdominal pain or difficulty urinating, or if you know from experience that you have kidney stones, visit us at Urology Specialists of Milford. The goal of our practice is to provide the best urologic care and treatment to patients with a variety of urological problems. 

Ivy League-trained urologist and surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg uses the latest treatment options available. To learn more about kidney stones and kidney health, call the Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 to schedule an appointment, or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you and helping you achieve and maintain optimum health.

If you notice a significant curve to your penis, especially with an erection, you may have Peyronie’s disease, indicating that years of trauma may be catching up with you.

Peyronie’s disease is caused by the development of scar tissue inside the penis. The condition can cause painful erections, erectile dysfunction, and cause the penis to significantly curve. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every penis that curves is the reason to see a doctor, but any trauma to the penis should be a cause for concern.

Symptoms of Peyronie’s disease may appear suddenly or occur gradually over time, as scar tissue builds up due to trauma to the penis. This trauma can be the result of injury during sex, contact sports, or accidents.

In a penis unaffected by Peyronie’s, increased blood flow stiffens the penis, causing an erection. However, a penis affected by Peyronie’s will curve significantly due to the disorganized manner of scar formation under the skin of the penis, making it difficult and painful to achieve an erection. 

When do you know if you need to seek out medical treatment? Doctors say that the condition is officially a cause for concern if it is hindering your ability to achieve an erection and have sex without pain. While you may be able to live with the condition if its progression has stabilized, it will likely only get worse.

How do you know it is Peyronie’s disease and not just a normal curvature of the penis? For one, you should be able to feel with your fingertips the scar tissue under the skin of the penis. If it is something you have not felt there in the past, then that could be a sign the condition is progressing. The most telltale sign of Peyronie’s disease is the indicative bend to the penis during erection.   

Another sign of Peyronie’s is having issues experiencing an erection or maintaining it. Again, if this is a common occurrence for you and you are not experiencing any other symptoms of the disease, this is not a reason to panic. It is really the combination of penis curving during erection, with or without pain, that most easily points to it being Peyronie’s disease. But you should definitely seek out a medical professional’s opinion before attempting to diagnose yourself. 

If you suspect you might be suffering from Peyronie’s disease, speak to a medical professional as soon as possible. Call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 or schedule your appointment now.

For couples who don’t want children, or whose families are complete, a vasectomy is a reliable and effective means of birth control. It is a permanent solution with 99.85 percent efficacy – a near guarantee against unwanted pregnancies. 

That said, both partners in a relationship may have concerns about the vasectomy process and its subsequent physical and emotional effects on their sex life and relationship. The following frequently asked questions (and answers) should help clarify doubts and provide information before you make this very important decision. 

What is a Vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a safe and effective method of permanent birth control for men. It is an outpatient surgery that renders a man sterile. The vas deferens – tubes carrying sperm from the testicles – are cut, stitched and sealed. Thus, sperm is blocked from being ejaculated in the semen, preventing conception. 

Does a Vasectomy Hurt?

The outpatient procedure is conducted under anesthesia, usually local. You may feel a sensation of pulling on your scrotum. Post-procedure, there may be some swelling, bruising and mild discomfort for up to a week.

How Effective is a Vasectomy?

Vasectomies are more than 99 percent effective. It is one of the most foolproof forms of birth control. A vasectomy “fails” very rarely, when the ends of the vas deferens reattach, allowing pregnancy. Only one to two women out of every 1,000 has reported a pregnancy in the first year after their partner had a vasectomy.

Are Vasectomies Immediately Effective?

Vasectomies are not immediately effective. Sperm may remain in the tubes and be carried out in the ejaculate. It may take a few months and 15-20 ejaculations before that sperm is completely ejected or reabsorbed into the body.

During this time, a man remains fertile. Alternate methods of birth control are necessary until a man receives the all-clear after a sperm-count test (usually given three months post-procedure, and one every few weeks thereafter until a complete absence of sperm is noted). 

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Recovery time varies, but usually, any pain or soreness fades after a few days. Physical activities like exercise and lifting heavy objects could be resumed after a week, although you should consult with your doctor to be sure. Minor swelling, sensitivity, or discomfort in the scrotum may continue for up to two weeks.

Will a Vasectomy Affect My Sex Life?

There should not be any changes in your sex drive,  achieving or maintaining erections, ejaculating, or orgasms. No sex organs are removed or altered during a vasectomy, and the body continues producing male hormones after a vasectomy. Some men have reported an improved sex life after the procedure because the fear of pregnancy is no longer present during sex. 

Does a Vasectomy Affect Ejaculate?

Semen consists of sperm, and fluid from the seminal vesicles and the prostate gland. Sperm makes up only 2 to 5 percent of the ejaculate. A vasectomy is performed only on the vas deferens, not the seminal vesicles or prostate, so sperm is the only thing missing from the ejaculate. Removing sperm has little or no effect on ejaculate volume, appearance, color, or consistency. 

When Can Sexual Activity be Resumed?

Sexual activity may be resumed when the swelling and tenderness in the scrotum reduces – usually within a week.  

Are There Risks or Complications?

A vasectomy is a very low-risk procedure. Common, minor side effects include swelling, bruising or bleeding in the scrotum, bloody semen, or infection at the site of the incision. Sometimes the vas deferens leak sperm that forms lumps called granuloma, which may require medication or surgery.

There is no increased risk of prostate or testicular cancer after a vasectomy.

What are the Advantages of a Vasectomy over Tubal Ligation?

Tubal ligation is the tying of the fallopian tubes to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. It is a complex, inpatient procedure requiring hospitalization. Performed under general anesthesia, there’s a risk of complications such as the development of scar tissue and bleeding. Tubal litigation has a  longer recovery period (1 - 3 weeks or longer) than a vasectomy. 

A vasectomy is a much simpler 15- to 20-minute procedure performed in an ambulatory surgery center or doctor’s office using local anesthesia. Discomfort and side effects are minimal. 

What are the Advantages of a Vasectomy?

A vasectomy has many advantages:   

  • It offers lifelong protection for a one-time procedure
  • It is safe, simple, and quick
  • It has few risks and side effects
  • It saves money, as other repetitive birth control won’t be needed 

And the Reasons Against a Vasectomy?

The main reason against having a vasectomy is if you are unsure about having children in the future.  

A vasectomy may not be a good idea for men who have:  

  • A history of bleeding or blood disorders
  • Allergies or sensitivities to anesthetics (such as lidocaine or novocaine) or antibiotics
  • Skin conditions of the scrotum
  • Had past injury or surgery on the genitals
  • Recent or repeat urinary tract or genital infections

Does Insurance Cover Vasectomies?

Vasectomies are often covered by health insurance. Plan deductibles and co-insurances vary, so check with your insurance company first.

Can a Vasectomy be Reversed?

Vasectomies should be considered permanent, but reversal may be possible depending on the state of the vas deferens tubes, fluid samples, and time elapsed since the vasectomy. 

Two techniques are used in vasectomy reversal:

  • Vasovasostomy involves directly reattaching the severed ends of the vas deferens at the site of the vasectomy.
  • Vasoepididymostomy connects the vas deferens to the epididymis - the tube that connects a testicle to a vas deferens. 

At Urology Specialists of Milford, we understand that a vasectomy is a major life decision. We provide answers to a broad range of questions on the issue. For more information, call (508) 473-6333 to request an appointment with board-certified urologist Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg.