Urology is the branch of medicine that is concerned with the male and female urinary tract and the male genital organs. Baystate Health urology treats health conditions affecting the male and female urinary tract and the male genital organs.
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Urological surgeons at Baystate Health treat:
- Prostate cancer and other prostate diseases
- Urinary incontinence
- Diseases and malfunctions of the kidneys, bladder, and ureters
Baystate urological surgeons were among the first in the western Massachusetts area to perform minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for the care of urological conditions. MIS usually results in:
- Smaller scars
- Less risk of infection
- Less bleeding and need for blood transfusions
- Less pain and trauma
- Faster healing
- Shorter hospital stays
- The ability to resume normal activity up to four weeks sooner than patients who opt for traditional open surgery
Minimally invasive and robotic procedures:
- Nephrectomy/Partial Nephrectomy
- Ureter Harvest
- Radical Prostatectomy
- Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection
- Incontinence Surgery
Urology Conditions We Treat
Inflammation of the Prostate
Prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate, has a variety of causes ranging from stress to bacterial infection. When the prostatic ducts become inflamed, irritated or blocked for any reason, prostatitis may develop. The three types of prostatitis are nonbacterial prostatitis, acute (severe) bacterial prostatitis and chronic (long-lasting) prostatitis. Prostatitis can affect men of all ages. Some of the symptoms are similar to those caused by an enlarged prostate and include the frequent urge to urinate, yet difficulty in doing so. Prostatitis also can be accompanied by chills and fever and by pain or burning during urination. Symptoms and the underlying condition may be treated by medication or other means. If an infection is the cause, medication can usually resolve the problem completely.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States, with 184,500 new cases anticipated in 1998. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men. Yet when detected in the early stages, prostate cancer can be effectively treated. In its early stages, prostate cancer may not cause any urinary symptoms. As it progresses, it can cause a need to urinate frequently, especially at night; difficulty starting urination or holding back urine; inability to urinate; a weak or interrupted flow of urine; painful or burning urination; painful ejaculation; blood in urine or semen; and frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or extremities.
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine that occurs frequently enough to become a problem. Although it is more common among older women, it is not an inevitable part of aging and can occur at any age. Urinary incontinence is caused by various problems with the bladder, where urine is stored, and the urethra, the canal that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. Problems with the bladder include weakness of the muscles and hypersensitive or overactive bladder muscles. Urethral problems include weakness of the urethral sphincter (band of muscles that close off the bladder opening to the urethra) or a blocked urethra.
Sometimes, urinary incontinence is temporary, appearing as a side effect to a medication or a symptom of an underlying condition, such as infection or hormonal imbalance. This temporary condition will disappear once the causal condition is identified and treated.
There are three main types of urinary incontinence:
Stress incontinence is the most common type, is often caused by poor bladder support, a damaged sphincter muscle or a problem within the urethra. Stress incontinence causes urine to leak out with activities, such as sneezing, laughing and coughing, or with any effort that increases pressure on the bladder, such as bending or exercise.
Urge incontinence occurs when an "overactive" bladder contracts unexpectedly. It usually comes with little warning and causes an abrupt and uncontrollable need to urinate.
Overflow incontinence is caused by a weakened bladder or a blocked urethra, making it impossible for the bladder to empty completely. This eventually causes the urine to overflow and leak out. Diabetes, heavy alcohol use and certain neurologic problems can cause overflow incontinence.