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Academic and clinical excellence in a private practice setting

At the Uro Center of New York, we combine clinical and academic excellence in a private practice setting. For over twenty years, our staff has been committed to diagnosing and treating people with bladder and prostate conditions. Our dedicated team of urologists, urogynecologists, behavioral therapists and nurses provide comprehensive individualized examinations, evaluations and treatments. Our services include the use of state-of-the-art video urodynamic equipment and a custom-designed computer system that assists our physicians in ensuring an accurate and prompt diagnosis.

Our nyc urologists  are experts in their field, bringing academic and research based innovation to the clinical forefront. Our urology team specializes in areas of treatment such as: robotic surgery, reconstructive urology, men’s health & infertility, kidney stones, urologic oncology, penile implant surgery, urethral stricture, BPH, Urinary incontinence treatment, Mesh complications, Enlarged prostate treatment, Urodynamics, vesicovaginal fistula and female incontinence in New York.

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Is a vasectomy right for me?

vasectomy-general-information-top-nyc-urologist-dr-blaivas-01

I’ve heard of a vasectomy. What is it?

A vasectomy is a simple surgical procedure that permanently protects against pregnancy. It is an operation for men otherwise known as “male sterilization,” that prevents sperm from leaving the man’s body and prevents the partner from getting pregnant.

How is a vasectomy done?

A vasectomy is a simple, quick operation that is done in a doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic. It is an outpatient surgery in which you do not have to be put “to sleep” during the procedure, and you can go home the same day.

vasectomy-medical-illustration-cut-vas-deferens-02The vas deferens are 2 small tubes in the scrotum that leave the testicles, carrying sperm and allowing them to mix with other fluids to form semen. Normally, the semen ejaculated from a man during sex contains sperm, and the man’s sperm to find and join up with the woman’s egg and cause pregnancy. “Vasectomy” is named for the “vas” in “vas deferens.” In a vasectomy, a doctor cuts or blocks each of the 2 vas deferens tubes, sealing off the road for sperm to get into the semen fluid.

Starting about 3 months after a vasectomy, sperm will no longer be part of the semen because they cannot be transported past the cut or block where the vasectomy was done. The sperm stay in the testicles and get absorbed by the body. Since there are no sperm in the semen, the semen cannot make a woman pregnant even if it gets into a vagina.

Vasectomies are very safe procedures. Complications are rare, but they can include swelling, bruising, and infection. These complications are not serious, but they should be seen by a doctor.

What happens right after a vasectomy?

Right after the surgery, it is common to feel a bit sore. Resting for about a day can be helpful. Full recovery occurs in less than one week after the procedure.

After a few days, men can have sex again normally. It can take a few months for the sperm to stop getting into the semen after a vasectomy, so it is still important to use another form of birth control during sex during that time to prevent pregnancy. After about 10-20 orgasms or ejaculations after the procedure, men can have a test done to see if there are any sperm in his semen. Once the test shows that there are no sperm in the semen, which is usually about 3 months after the procedure, a man who has had a vasectomy will no longer need to take any additional birth control steps before sex, like putting on a condom.

Note that a vasectomy is a highly effective form of birth control, but it will not prevent sexually transmitted infections. If you are a male with a sexually transmitted infection, condoms are still needed to prevent their transmission to your partner.

Is a vasectomy right for me?

Vurologist-for-vasectomy-best-nyc-urologist-specialist-03asectomies are a great birth control option for men who are positive that they do not want to get someone pregnant for the rest of their life. They are almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancies. Vasectomies are usually not able to be reversed. They should be considered permanent male birth control.

Men who have had vasectomies can still orgasm or ejaculate after the procedure. Men will still produce the same amount of semen and ejaculate the same way and amount during sex. A vasectomy does not change the way ejaculating or orgasming occurs or feels, and it doesn’t change the look, feel, taste, or smell of the semen that was ejaculated. It does not affect a man’s testosterone level, sex drive, or any other part of your sex life. After a vasectomy, the only change is that there are no sperm in the fluid that gets released, so it can’t get anyone pregnant.

If you are sure that you do not want to get anyone else pregnant and you are interested in a vasectomy, contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best urologist in NYC to see if a vasectomy is right for you.

Visit our main website at www.UrocenterofNewYork.com for more information.

I have a lump in my testicle. Could it be cancer? Understanding Testicular Cancer

testicular-cancer-medical-information-nyc-top-urologist-01Testicular cancer is a cancer that occurs in the male reproductive system. Underneath the penis, the testicles (or testes) are found inside a sac called the scrotum, which is a loose bag of skin. The testicles are two glands, each about the size of a golf ball, that normally feel firm but slightly spongy.

The testicles have an essential role in male reproduction: they produce sperm for reproduction and male sex hormones for the development of male traits.

The exact cause of testicular cancer is not clear in most cases, but research shows that it occurs when a healthy cell in the testicle becomes changed. The altered cell grows and divides abnormally, often uncontrollably, leading to the development of a tumor or mass in the testicle.

Although it is rare compared with other types of cancer, testicular cancer the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 35 years old. It usually affects one testicle at a time.

Who is most likely to get testicular cancer?

urologist-surgeon-cancer-testes-men-02There are certain risk factors that make a man more likely to get testicular cancer.

Testicular can occur at any age, but it most commonly affects teens and younger men between the ages of 15 and 35.

Those born with undescended testicles, or “cryptorchidism,” are at higher risk of testicular cancer. In male development, the testes form in the lower belly. Just before the male baby is born, the testicles usually drop down into the scrotum. In less than 5% of newborns, the testicles do not drop, and are left inside the abdomen. Although this is often fixed surgically, the males born with undescended testicles tend to be at higher risk of getting testicular cancer later in life. Although the majority of men with testicular cancer do not have a history of undescended testicles, many men with undescended testicles are at higher risk of testicular cancer.

Also, men that have had a history of abnormal testicle development, such as Klinefelter syndrome, are at higher risk.

Other risk factors for testicular cancer include having a family history of testicular cancer, having fertility problems (being unable to make a woman pregnant), having HIV infection, or having Down Syndrome.

What symptoms may indicate testicular cancer?

Most men with testicular cancer feel a lump or growth in one testicle. Many also experience swelling in the testicles. Some men with testicular cancer may also experience pain: 3 out of 4 men with testicular cancer say that the lump and swelling are painless, but 1 out of 4 say that they experienced pain in the area.

Other signs of testicular cancer are a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum or having pain or a dull ache in the testicle, scrotum, abdomen, or groin region. Some men also experience a sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum, enlargement or tenderness of the tissues surrounding the breasts/nipples, or back pain.

I think I might have testicular cancer. What should I do?

testicular-cancer-awareness-nyc-specialist-urologists-03If you suspect you might have testicular cancer, make an appointment with your doctor right away, especially if any lumps, swelling, or pain in your groin area lasts for more than 2 weeks. Many men with signs of testicular cancer wait to go to a doctor for several months. During that time, untreated testicular cancer may spread to other parts of the body, like the lymph nodes, blood, lungs, and bones. In very rare cases, it can spread to the brain. Visiting a doctor early can help avoid the spread of the cancer.

When diagnosed early, testicular cancer is treatable in most people, is curable in many, and is rarely life-threatening. It is important to get seen by your doctor and treated early. Doctors can use physical examinations, lab tests, imaging, and biopsies to check for and diagnose testicular cancer.

If you suspect you might have testicular cancer, contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best urologist in NYC.

for more information, please visit our website at: www.UrocenterofNewYork.com

What is Prostatitis?

prostatitis-prostate-issues-problems-nyc-urology-expert-doctors-01Have you recently asked yourself what is Prostatitis? It is the swelling, tenderness, or inflammation of the prostate gland in men.

In all men, the prostate is the walnut-sized gland located directly below the bladder. The prostate gland produces seminal fluid, which is fluid that nourishes, protects, and transports sperm as they travel to a female’s egg for reproduction. Usually, prostatitis is caused by common bacterial strains. Bacteria from urine can leak into your prostate gland, causing an infection.

Prostatitis is not prostate cancer, and it is not the same as having an enlarged prostate. It is most common in young or middle-aged men who have previously had another instance of prostatitis, have an infection in the bladder or urethra (tube that transports semen and urine through penis), have a pelvis injury, or have HIV.

Types and symptoms of prostatitis:

There are four types:

  • prostatitis-medical-information-different-types-consult-top-nyc-urologists-02Acute bacterial prostatitis: a sudden bacterial infection in your prostate that can result in flu-like symptoms: fever, chills, muscle aches, and joint pain. Men with acute bacterial prostatitis often experience pain around the base of the penis or behind the scrotum, trouble peeing, and a feeling of needing to have a bowel movement.
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis: a milder bacterial infection common in older men that can remain for several months at a time. This often occurs after having a urinary tract infection (UTI) or acute bacterial prostatitis. Symptoms of chronic bacterial prostatitis can come and go, so it may be harder to detect this type. Men with chronic bacterial prostatitis often experience an urgent need to pee, peeing more often in the night, pain while urinating or after ejaculating, a feeling of heaviness behind the scrotum, blood in the semen, or a urinary blockage.
  • Chronic prostatitis/ chronic pelvic pain syndrome: This is the most common form of prostatitis. The symptoms are similar to the two forms of bacterial prostatitis described above, but if a test is run, this type of prostatitis will not show any bacteria present. It is unknown what exactly causes this type of prostatitis, but it can be triggered by stress, nearby physical injury, or nerve damage. Symptoms of this type of prostatitis including pain in the penis, scrotum, lower abdomen, lower back, and between the scrotum and rectum may last more than 3 months. Peeing or ejaculating may also be painful. Urinary problems like a frequent need to urinate, a weak urine stream, and an inability to hold in your urine may also be associated with this form of prostatitis.
  • Asymptomatic prostatitis: This occurs when a man has a swollen or inflamed prostate but does not experience any symptoms. This type of prostatitis does not require treatment, it can lead to infertility. It can be detected through a blood test from your doctor

Depending on the type, symptoms can come on suddenly or more slowly over time.

What happens if I have prostatitis?

illustration-enlarged-prostate-bladder-prostatitis-03Some cases can get better on their own, but other cases may need treatment by antibiotics. If not fully treated, a man can end up with chronic bacterial prostatitis, meaning that prostatitis can recur. Treatment needs and recommendations can depend on the type and severity of the individual case.

If you are experiencing pain while urinating or ejaculating, pelvic pain, or other symptoms, your doctor can help diagnose and treat prostatitis. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best urologist in NYC.

For more information, please visit our website at: www.UrocenterofNewYork.com

What is Slow Urine Flow?

urologist-for-slow-urine-flow-urination-info-01Have you ever needed to go to the bathroom, but had only a weak stream of urine comes out? Have you ever been unable to pee when you tried? If so, you may have experienced a slow urine flow.

Slow urine flow, or a weak urine stream, can occur in people of both sexes. It most commonly occurs in men, especially those over 50 years old. Otherwise known as urinary hesitancy, this condition usually develops slowly over time, and may be unnoticeable until it ultimately leads to urinary retention, or an inability to pee. This may lead to discomfort.

What can cause slow urine flow?

slow-urine-flow-due-prostate-enalrged-02

A variety of medical conditions may affect normal urine flow. The most common cause of slow urine flow in men is having an enlarged prostate, or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). An enlarged prostate can press on the urethra, which is the tube through which urine travels from the bladder out of the body. If the urethra is compressed from the enlarged prostate, less urine can pass through, so the urine flow is slowed down. This is further exacerbated in people with diabetes that have diabetic neuropathy.

Other possible causes of slow urine flow are prostate or bladder cancer, blockage along any part of the urinary tract (from kidneys to bladder to urethra), neurogenic bladder dysfunction, frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs), and any other conditions that cause scarring or damage to the urinary tract.

Symptoms of slow urine flow

You may have slow urine flow if you have a slow urine stream. If you have slow urine flow or another lower urinary tract problem, you may dribble of urine after you finish urinating, wake up multiple times a night to pee, or feel lower abdominal discomfort. You also may feel like you have not completely emptied your bladder when you have finished urinating. Slow urine flow and associated urine problems can cause distress for many.

What should you do if you have slow urine flow?

slow-urination-graphic-what-healthy-consult-nyc-expert-03If you experience urinary hesitancy or a slow flow of urine, it is important to see a urologist. Your doctor can help you figure out why you have slow urine stream and can work with you to resolve your urinary problems.

To better understand and help you with your condition, your urologist may do a physical exam, urine tests (like urinalysis or a urine culture), and a urine flow test.

A urine flow test calculates the speed of your urine flow over time. This will help you and your urologist understand how well your lower urinary tract is working, and to determine if there is a urine blockage. This test entails peeing into a funnel that has a measuring instrument, which calculates the amount of urine, the rate of urine flow, and the amount of time until you have finished urinating.

After examination and any tests needed, your urologist may help you identify medications or lifestyle changes that can help with your urinary flow.

If you think you might be experiencing slow urine flow, contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best NYC urologist.

For more information, please visit our website: www.UrocenterofNewYork.com

Understanding Overactive Bladder

overactive-bladder-graphic-nyc-expert-01Overactive bladder (OAB) is a common condition in bladder function that causes the sudden and frequent need to urinate. It is a common problem affecting millions of Americans, especially older adults.

Urine is stored in an organ called the bladder. Normally, when it is not full of urine, the bladder is relaxed. When the stored urine level increases and bladder gets full, it sends signals to your brain telling you that you should go to the bathroom. When you urinate, the bladder muscles contract or squeeze to expel the urine out of your body.

With overactive bladder, the nerve signals between the bladder and the brain tell your brain to urinate even when your bladder isn’t full. The muscles in the bladder contract involuntarily, leading to urination even when the amount of urine in the bladder is low. This leads to urinary incontinence, or a loss of bladder control.

Signs and symptoms of overactive bladder

frequent-urination-urge-overactive-bladder-information-nyc-doctor-specialist-02The most common sign of overactive bladder is the sudden urge to urinate, and difficulty controlling that urge. This leads to “urge incontinence,” or an immediate involuntary loss of urine. Leaking urine throughout the day is also common. Overactive bladder is associated with frequent urination (8 or more times a day) and being woken up at night to pee (“nocturia”), often more than 2 times a night. Many people with overactive bladders say that it is hard to get through the day without many trips to the bathroom and they fear not being able to get to a bathroom when they need one.

Having an overactive bladder is a source of distress and embarrassment for many. The need to urinate frequently and a limited ability to control one’s bladder can lead to social isolation, limiting one’s work or social life, and other disruptions in normal daily life. It also can lead to disrupted sleep, anxiety, sexuality issues, and emotional stress.

What causes an overactive bladder?

There are many causes for overactive bladder, and doctors are still learning more about these causes through research.

Overactive bladder can occur without any underlying health issues, but there are some known health problems that are associated with it. For example, nerve damage and neurological disorders like stroke or multiple sclerosis are associated with low bladder control. Overactive bladder is also common in people with diabetes and with enlarged prostates. Parkinson’s disease, herniated discs, and having had back or pelvis surgery also can lead to overactive bladders. People with weak pelvic muscles, such as women after pregnancy, can experience urine leakage.

Aging also can lead to overactive bladder for both men and women. For women, menopause is sometimes associated with an overactive bladder.

Some medications and foods can make it harder to control overactive bladders. Medications called diuretics can cause increased urine production, and other medications require you to take them with a lot of fluids. Foods that are acidic like citrus and tomatoes, and drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and soda may make bladder problems worse.

What can help an overactive bladder?

illustration-medical-info-overactive-bladder-nyc-urologist-03For many with overactive bladders, behavioral strategies and lifestyle changes can be extremely helpful. Setting bathroom or “voiding” schedules, doing pelvic floor strengthening exercises (“Kegel” exercises), and avoiding foods and drinks that make bladder problems worse all have been shown to help overactive bladders.

If these behavioral strategies and exercises do not work, doctors also can prescribe medications to help calm the bladder.

In addition to these changes and treatments, wearing absorbent pads or underwear can help to hide any unwanted bladder leakage.

If you have any of the signs or symptoms of an overactive bladder, a doctor can help you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best urologist in NYC.

What is a Urethral Stricture and what happens if I have one?

Do you have or want to know what is a urethral stricture? A Urethral stricture is a narrowing of the urethra, often caused by scarring. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of your body. A urethral structure restricts the flow of urine out of the body and can cause inflammation or infection in the urinary tract.

Men are more likely to experience urethral stricture than women are, as men have longer urethras. Urethral strictures are not common in women and infants.

What causes urethral stricture?

urethral-stricture-medical-infographic-information-02Urethral stricture is caused by the development of scar tissue or tissue inflammation that narrows the urethra. It can happen at any point in the urethra, from the bladder to the tip of the penis. Medical procedures that involve inserting an instrument like an endoscope into the urethra or use of a catheter or tube to drain urine from the bladder can create scar tissue. Injury to the urethra or pelvis, such as from bike riding or getting hit near the scrotum, can also create scar tissue. Scar tissue also may form from other medical conditions like an enlarged prostate, prostate gland removal surgery, urethral cancer, prostate cancer, or sexually transmitted infections.

To prevent urethral stricture, it is important to avoid injury to the urethra and pelvis and to be careful with self-catheterization and avoid sexually transmitted infections. If a sexually transmitted infection like Gonorrhea or Chlamydia is contracted, take antibiotics early to treat the infection and prevent urethral stricture. Although urethral strictures are not contagious, sexually transmitted infections are. Treating a sexually transmitted infection can help you prevent urethral stricture, and also can help prevent them in future sexual partners.

Urethral stricture signs and symptoms

Several urinary problems may indicate urethral stricture. A low or spraying urine stream, incomplete bladder emptying, and difficulty or pain when urinating are common signs. Bloody or dark urine or blood in semen may also indicate urinary stricture. Many with urinary stricture experience more frequent urination or a more frequent urge to urinate. Men with urethral strictures also may experience urinary tract infections.

What happens if I have a urethral stricture

treatment-diagnosis-urethral-stricture-blaivas-expert-03It is important to seek treatment for a urethral stricture. Without appropriate treatment, urinary problems may continue. If a urethral blockage lasts a long time, it can damage the kidneys and lead to an enlarged bladder.

Appropriate treatments for urethral strictures depend on the size of the urethral blockage and the amount of scar tissue present. A urologist can help you determine the best treatment route for you. Treatment options include dilation of the structure with gradual stretching with an instrument called a dilator, urethrotomy (cutting the stricture through a scope), or open surgery to remove the stricture.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best urethral stricture urologist in NYC.

For more information, visit our website: www.UrocenterofNewYork.com

Peyronie’s Disease

Why is my penis curved? An overview of Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s Disease or penile curvature: an overview

op-nyc-urologist-peyronies-disease-01Peyronie’s Disease (pronounced pay-roe-NEEZ disease)—or penile curvature— occurs when scar tissue develops inside the penis, causing curved, painful erections.

In Peyronie’s Disease, scar tissue, also known as a plaque, builds up on the inside the tissues within the penis, most commonly at the top or the bottom of the penis. As the plaque builds up, the penis can bend or curve during an erection. This can be very painful, and can make sexual intercourse very painful, difficult, or even impossible. The curvature of the penis can worsen as more plaque builds up over time.

The exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is not yet known, but it is thought to be the result of acute injury to the penis, chronic/repeated injury to the penis, or an autoimmune disease. Acute or repeated penile injury can result in bleeding or swelling within the penis tissues. If blood can’t flow normally in and out of the penis after the injury, blood clots may form and trap immune system cells inside. As the injury heals, the immune system cells may release substances that can cause too much scar tissue to form. Similarly, in autoimmune diseases, immune cells may attack the penis, and this can lead to inflammation and scarring. In both of these cases, the scar tissue then can build up and harden, reducing the flexibility and elasticity of the penis during an erection and leading to pain and a curved appearance.

The plaque that develops in Peyronie’s Disease is not harmful to other parts of the body. It is benign (non-cancerous), it is not a tumor, and it is not the same type of plaque that builds up in a person’s arteries. It is not caused by any known disease, and it is not contagious.

Aside from being painful and causing penile curvature, Peyronie’s Disease also causes stress and anxiety for many men.

Risk factors for Peyronie’s Disease

curved-penis-painful-erection-info-nyc-top-urologist-02If you participate in any vigorous activities (sexual or nonsexual) that can cause tiny injuries to the penis, you may be at higher risk of Peyronie’s Disease. Some autoimmune or connective tissue disorders also increase the chance of having Peyronie’s Disease. You are also more likely to have Peyronie’s Disease if you have a family history of Peyronie’s Disease. Your risk increases as you get older.

Peyronie’s Disease is common: researchers estimate that Peyronie’s Disease may affect up to a quarter of men between ages 40 and 70.

Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s Disease can be recognized by any of the following:

  • Scar tissue under the skin of the penis that feel like flat lumps or a hard band of tissue;
  • A noticeable, significant bend to the penis (upward, downward, or to one side);
  • Abnormal shaping of the penis (such as narrowing, indentations, or an hourglass shape);
  • Pain in the penis, with or without an erection;
  • Erection problems; or
  • Penile shortening.

peyronies-treatment-urologist-expert-03Peyronie’s Disease can sometimes go away on its own, but more commonly, it stays the same or gets worse over time. The pain during erections can improve after one or two years, but the scar tissue and curvature often remain.

What should I do if I have penile curvature or painful erections?

See a urologist if the curve or pain in your penis makes sex difficult or impossible, or if it causes you anxiety. An individualized treatment plan may be needed.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best urologist doctor in NYC for the treatment of Peyronie’s Disease.

 

Bladder cancer: what is it?

Bladder cancer: what is it?

What is bladder cancer?

bladder-cancer-questions-top-nyc-urologist-surgeon-01Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers. It occurs in the urinary bladder, which is a hollow pouch in the pelvis that stores urine. The urinary bladder is an organ that is now made up of several layers of cells, which allow it to be flexible and muscular. When you urinate, the muscles in your bladder contract, pushing the urine out. The urine leaves your body through a tube called the urethra.

Bladder cancer occurs when cells in the urinary bladder grow uncontrollably or abnormally, forming a tumor. The cells that cause bladder cancer usually start growing in the innermost layer of cells in the bladder. If it goes undetected, the cancer cells can grow into the other layers of the bladder wall, causing the cancer to spread and making it harder to treat. Bladder cancer can also spread to nearby fat and tissue, or even to other parts of the body through a process called metastasis.

Most cases of bladder cancer are detected early, when the cancer is very treatable. Bladder cancer has very high survival rates. More than 7 out of 10 people diagnosed with bladder cancer will still be alive 5 years after they are diagnosed. Outcomes are based on a person’s own unique situation, like their overall health and how well their cancer responds to treatment, but overall, bladder cancer tends to have good outcomes.

Who is most likely to have bladder cancer?

bladder-problems-info-top-urologist-nyc-03Bladder cancer is more common in men than in women and is more likely to occur as you age. However, bladder cancer can happen in anyone.

Common risk factors for bladder cancer include:

  • Being male
  • Being over 40 years old
  • Being White
  • Having previous or chronic bladder infections
  • Having someone in your family that had bladder cancer or another cancer in the urinary tract
  • Smoking or using tobacco
  • Working around or being exposed to harmful chemicals often
  • Taking diabetes medications like pioglitazone (Actos) for more than a year
  • Having exposure to radiation (such as prior chemo or radiation treatment)

Symptoms of bladder cancer

Blood in your urine (hematuria) can make your urine appear red or Coca Cola-colored, and can point to bladder cancer. Frequent urination, pain while urinating, or pain in your pelvis or your back also may be symptoms of bladder cancer.

What should I do if I think I might have bladder cancer?

symptoms-bladder-cancer-nyc-urologist-02If you do have any of these risk factors or symptoms, you should visit a urologist doctor to be screened for bladder cancer. If you do not have any of these risk factors, it is helpful to monitor your urine and urinary habits for any changes. If you have had bladder cancer before, make sure to get checked regularly with follow-up tests for years after treatment, as bladder cancer can recur or advance.

Early detection of bladder cancer makes it easier to treat. If you have blood in your urine or have other symptoms that you suspect might be from bladder cancer, you should make an appointment with a urologist doctor to be checked for bladder cancer.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best urologist in NYC for the treatment of Bladder Cancer.

Kidney Stone Doctor

What actually are kidney stones?

urologist-for-kidney-stones-pictures-information-01Kidney stones are very common, so you may have heard of them from people you know or on TV. But you may be wondering, what exactly are they, and how would I know if I have kidney stones?

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones, also called “renal lithiasis” or “urolithiasis”, are hard deposits made of salts and minerals that form inside the kidneys and painfully block part of your urinary tract.

symptoms-of-kidney-stones-urologist-specialist-02The kidneys are a major filter and electrolyte regulator for the body. They remove waste products from the bloodstream, leaving your body with what is needed to function and removing any unneeded salts and minerals. The waste products filtered by the kidneys become part of your urine, which travels from the kidney through a tube called the ureter, into the bladder and then out of your body as you pee.

In some people, some of the unneeded salts and minerals (like calcium) stick together and crystallize or harden in the urine, forming a kidney stone. These stones start out to be very tiny— smaller than a grain of sand— but can grow as more waste chemicals attach, reaching the size of small pebbles. As kidney stones get bigger, it is harder for them to pass through the ureter to get to the bladder and out of the body. The stones get stuck in the urinary tract.

When a kidney stone gets stuck in the ureter, it can act like a dam, blocking the flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Since less urine is able to pass through the ureter tube, the urine builds up between the kidney and the stone as more urine is produced in the kidney. This increases the pressure in the urinary tract, leading to swelling of the kidney and often severe pain.

You may have a kidney stone if you experience any of the following:

Most people with kidney stones experience severe pain in their side and their back, below the ribs. The pain may move to the lower abdomen or groin and may come in waves and vary in its intensity. As the kidney stone moves through the urinary tract, the location and amount of pain may change. With kidney stones, it is common to have urinary problems such as pain while urinating, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, discolored urine (pink, red, or brown), frequent urination, a persistent need to urinate, and urinating only small amounts. Some may feel nauseous or vomit, and if an infection has developed, people with kidney stones may experience fever or chills.

What happens to kidney stones?

medical-procedure-kidney-stone-removal-severe-best-urologist-03Most kidney stones get passed out of the body on their own. While the buildup of pressure behind the stone causes pain in many people, the pressure also can help to dislodge the stone and move it down the ureter into the bladder, and then out of the body. To pass kidney stones on their own, some people with kidney stones need no more than to take pain medication and drink a lot of water to pass the stone on their own.

In some cases, the stone does not get moved on its own, and medical attention may be required to help remove the stone. Medical procedures or surgery may be needed. A urologist can help you with this.

Although they are painful, kidney stones usually do not cause any permanent damage.

If you suspect that you have a kidney stone or that you may have them in the future, a doctor can help you understand what your options are. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best urologist in NYC.

Enlarged Prostate Doctor

What you need to know about an enlarged prostate or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

bph-enlarged-prostate-info-urologists-specialists-nyc-01Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is when a prostate gland is enlarged. It is common in men, especially as they age.

The prostate gland is found only in men and is located underneath the bladder. Urine is transported from the bladder out of the penis through the urethra, which is a tube that goes through the center of the prostate. When the prostate enlarges, it can start to block the flow of urine through the urethra.

The prostate undergoes two main periods of growth in a man’s life. The first period of growth is early in puberty, and the second period starts at about 25 years old, the prostate continues to grow throughout most of the man’s life. Continued prostate growth is normal as you age, but in some men, this continued growth can lead to urinary symptoms or can significantly block the flow of urine especially during this second period of prostate growth.

It is important to note that the size of the prostate doesn’t necessarily determine the severity of a man’s symptoms of BPH. For example, someone with a very enlarged prostate may experience minor symptoms, whereas someone with a slightly enlarged prostate may have substantial urinary symptoms. It is also important to note that BPH—or an enlarged prostate— is not cancerous: it is benign and does not cause or lead to cancer.

BPH is very common in aging men. You are more likely to have BPH if you are a man that:

  • Is over 40 years old (risk increases with age)
  • Has a family history of BPH,
  • Has diabetes,
  • Has heart disease,
  • Is obese or does not exercise regularly,
  • Is Black or White, or
  • Has erectile dysfunction.

Symptoms of BPH

symptoms-of-bph-enlarged-prostate-nc-urologist-02BPH, or an enlarged prostate, can cause several urinary problems.

Most commonly, men with BPH have to urinate frequently, often 8 or more times a day) and often experience an urgent need to urinate. Men with BPH also commonly wake up several times a night to pee. Difficulty starting to urinate, a weak urine stream, a urine stream that stops and starts, dribbling when you finish peeing, and an inability to completely empty the bladder are also common symptoms of BPH.

Although less common, urinary tract infections (UTIs), an inability to urinate, or blood in the urine can also be signs of BPH.

An enlarged prostate can result in complications

bph-expert-information-best-urologists-nyc-03Although they are rare, complications can arise from an enlarged prostate. Complications can include urinary retention (a sudden inability to urinate), UTIs, bladder stones, bladder damage, and kidney damage. Most men will not experience these complications, but men with BPH should be aware that urinary retention and kidney damage can be serious health threats that may require medical care. 

What should you do if you suspect you have an enlarged prostate?

Prostate growth is normal, but urinary problems are not normal. Enlarged prostates are diagnosed by seeing a urologist. A urologist can help determine which treatments, if any, may be necessary for you. If you have any of the urinary symptoms discussed here or suspect that you may have an enlarged prostate, contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best urologist doctor in NYC.