Pee problems: When it's time to see the doctor
By: Lester Raff
It is just a bit ironic. This past week, I had my first ever surgical procedure. True, I am not a surgeon, so there is no irony in that. The irony I see is that as the medical director for the laboratory of an urology group in Chicago, I deal with about 60 urologists on a regular basis, and yet delayed the necessary urologic procedure for about, oh, six or eight years!
As is common for men of a certain age, my prostate gland was slowly encroaching upon and compressing the prostatic urethra, the tube that runs through the gland and carries urine from the bladder to “out there.” In laymen’s terms, it was getting pretty hard to pee. I had seen a few different urologists at about five year intervals, and all had told me that some day, probably sooner rather than later, I would need a procedure to get things moving again. Not seeing any benefit in doing today what I could put off until tomorrow, I ignored their warnings and just accepted the fact that I would be spending a few extra minutes each day standing in front of toilet, thinking of waterfalls and bubbling brooks, hoping that positive biofeedback would get things flowing.
And then about a month ago, the flow stopped as permanently as if it had hit the Hoover Dam. Inconveniently enough, my internist was on leave, but I knew which of my 60 urologist buddies he sent most of his patients to, so I gave Dr. Scott Tiplitsky, a urologist at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. a call, and we arranged a way to give me some relief. Urologists can do a magical job opening the floodgates with catheter tubes and balloons. With a little training, I have learned to do the magic myself–something I do not recommend for the squeamish or for easy fainters. And it is only a temporary remedy.
So a permanent solution needed to be found. My urologist and I discussed a variety of options, but in the end, we settled on a newer type of procedure that vaporizes the obstructing tissue but does relatively little damage to the prostate that is left behind. I was set April 5 at Advocate Lutheran General.
I had the procedure on that rainy Wednesday. Most patients are sent home immediately after the procedure, but because of a few kinks (kinks in my history, not kinks in my urethra,) I had an overnight stay followed by a few days resting semi-comfortably at home. A catheter was in place to ensure that things kept streaming along. The big test came Monday when the UroPartners team popped out the catheter. At that point, it was all up to me to pee. Dr. Tiplitsky let me know I should wait for a few hours and then see how it “goes.” And now, with a sigh of relief, I can joyously report that the dam has been broken and all is flowing well.
And how did this doctor do as a patient? I spent the first twenty-some years of my career as a pathologist in a community hospital, so the sights, sounds, rhythm and routine were somewhat familiar, but it is certainly different from a patient point of view. The good people at Advocate Lutheran General did a great job of helping me feel comfortable and treating me with kindness and respect, whether or not they knew I was a physician. The staff was uniformly polite, and every member, from housekeepers to nurses, assistants, volunteers and administrators, was sure to identify themselves and make it clear just what they were doing in my room at 4 in the morning. And as my wheelchair was pushed out the door on Thursday morning, there was even a woman cheering me on with a hearty “You’re going home-Yay!” I am not sure she is a hospital employee, but if she isn’t, I suggest that LGH give her some pom-poms, a cheerleader’s outfit and offer her a job!
I have written before of the many safety precautions we take in our lab to ensure the right result goes to the right patient. We bar code, color code, do manual double checks and with patient consent, do DNA identification verification. I was glad to see similar safety precautions in place at Lutheran General. I recited my name and birth date at least five times an hour. The 2D and 3D bar codes on my wrist band were scanned with virtually every contact with staff, and certainly every time any medication was being administered. I know that if my visit had been for an orthopedic procedure, the staff would have marked either my right or left knee to identify which side should be cut on. I don’t think that was necessary for my particular case–only one place for that cystoscope to go! By the way, if any of you are looking for an investment opportunity, alcohol-based hand wash would be a good bet. To prevent spread of infection, there is a lot of hand washing going on.
Kudos to my good friends and associates at UroPartners and my new friends at Advocate Lutheran General. I’m just glad that in my case, when it rained, it poured!
SpaceOAR® System – Rectal Protection for Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy Patients
UroPartners is now offering a new tool that is proven to protect prostate cancer patients from the negative effects of radiation therapy.
Because of the close proximity of the prostate to the rectum, prostate radiation therapy typically results in some radiation hitting the rectum, which can sometimes cause side effects, such as pain during bowel movements, rectal urgency, bleeding or loose stools during or after radiation treatment. That’s why the rectum is called the Organ At Risk (OAR) during prostate radiation therapy.
SpaceOAR System reduces rectal injury in men receiving prostate cancer radiation therapy by acting as a spacer – pushing the rectum away from the prostate and out of the high dose radiation region.
The hydrogel spacer is injected during a minimally invasive procedure, and — once in place — patients typically can’t feel it. The hydrogel is safe and similar to other products used in brain surgery, cardiology and ophthalmology. It remains in place for 3 months during radiation treatment, and is then absorbed and leaves the body in the patient’s urine — leaving nothing behind.
SpaceOAR System has been has been clinically proven and studied in a US Clinical Trial and is FDA cleared for sale in the US.
To learn more about SpaceOAR hydrogel please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Patient Guide
For more information on SpaceOAR system go to http://www.spaceoar.com
Please see Instructions for Use for a complete list of potential risks, warnings and precautions.
Prostate Cancer Support Group
UroPartners' Prostate Centers are committed to excellence in the detection, treatment and management of prostate cancer. As part of our commitment, we offer a support group for all current, future and past patients on the second Wednesday of every other month.
Wednesday, May 10th at 6:30 p.m.
Prostate Center at the Glen
2600 Patriot Blvd., Unit J
Glenview, IL 60026
(224) 260 3100
- Information about Prostate Cancer and the latest treatments
- Emotional support for men recently diagnosed, undergoing treatment, or have completed treatment
- Information, education, and camaraderie for men diagnosed with prostate cancer
Urologic reconstruction is the surgical repairing or recreating of the urinary tract. To learn more about this specialty visit Urologic Reconstruction.
Dr. Alsikafi is one of the few Urologic Reconstruction experts in the Midwest. He is a founding member of TURNS - The Trauma and Urologic Reconstructive Network of Surgeons and has acted as Secretary (2014) and President (2015) of the organization. His clinical interests include all aspects of male and female reconstructive urology as well as general urology.
Alfredo Feels Light as Air
Dr. Meadows and Dr. Koopman Remove Record-Size Bladder Stone
"For 50 years, Alfredo R. suffered from the effects of a rapidly growing bladder stone. By the time he finally agreed to have it surgically removed at 67 years old, it had grown to the record size of nearly 12 centimeters. Luckily, the expert urology team at Swedish Covenant Hospital was ready and capable to meet the challenge."
Chicago Magazine's 2017 Top Cancer Physicians
Congratulations to our providers who've been selected by Chicago Magazine as 2017 Top Cancer Physicians.
Uropartners Adds Another Lake Forest Location
Dr. John Milner will now be seeing patients at the Lake Forest Hospital-Medical Center as well as his existing locations, Uropartners Skokie & Uropartners Highland Park.
Uropartners Chicago has a New Location
We are excited to announce that Dr. Steven Koopman, Dr. Daniel Merrick and Dr. Matthew Meadows are now seeing patients at the professional building of Illinois Masonic!
We added this location to our Lincoln Square and Skokie locations because we want to help more people get the urological care they need and provide easier access for our patients that live closer to Lakeview.
97.9 The Loop at S.E.A Blue Prostate Cancer Walk/Run
This September 11th, Honor those men who are no longer with us and celebrate those who are. The S.E.A Blue Prostate Cancer Walk/Run event includes: CARA-Certified 5K Run Including the First Responder Challenge, Celebration Walk, Flag Ceremony, Prostate Cancer Education Tent, Family Fun Zone, FREE PSA Testing, FREE Pizza Lunch, Live Music, and much more! With the sponsorship of Chicago's 97.9 The Loop, you will have the opportunity to meet the Loop's Rock Girl, April! Visit S.E.A Blue's Prostate Cancer Walk/Run page to find more information and to sign up!
Listen to 97.9's Mancow talk about the S.E.A Blue Prostate Walk/Run:
Men's Health Week!
Help kick off Men's Health Week by participating in Blue Monday! Wear blue on Monday, June 13 to show your support and promote men's health. For more information regarding Men's Health Week and Blue Monday visit Michigan Institute of Urology's - Men's Health Foundation.
Best Nurse/Physician Relationship - Dr. Koopman
Dr. Koopman is a recipient of the first ever Nurse/Physician Excellence Award! Dr. Koopman was nominated by his nurses for exemplary cooperation with his medical staff. This type of working relationship not only benefits the nurses but also positively impacts the patient experience.
For more information on Dr. Koopman's latest award visit Swedish Covenant Hospital's NewsRoom.
Dr. Patel's Recent Publication
Ureteral Stone Management: A Practical Approach
UroPartners' doctor, Dr. Sutchin Patel has recently published a new book "Ureteral Stone Management: A Practical Approach." Be sure to go and check out this new publication.
Top Doctor - Dr. Gluckman, Dr. Lee, and Dr. Norris
Congratulations to Dr. Gluckman, Dr. Lee, and Dr. Norris for being nominated and selected by their peers as national Top Doctors by U.S News Media Group and Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd. The title of Top Doctor is achieved through peer nomination, extensive review, and careful screening from Castle Connolly. We at Uropartners are proud to have such outstanding doctors.
Dr. Lester Raff
Today's Spotlight: Dr. Lester Raff
Dr. Raff is not only a skilled Pathologists and Medical Director of UroPartners Laboratory, but in his free time, he authors a blog where he shares stories of being an empty nester, building a new home, and daily anecdotes. His blog was recently picked up by Chicago Now. Check it out at http://www.chicagonow.com/downsize-maybe/. It promises to be a very entertaining read.
UroPartners welcomes new doctor
Uropartners in Lake Forest and Grayslake welcomes Dr. R. Joseph Hartman, Jr. to our practice. He has also joined the medical staff of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and Advocate Condell Medical Center.
UroPartners New Location
UroPartners is now opening a new office located at 136 Biesterfield Road, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. Great space, great parking! The physicians of this office join us from their previous practice, Northwest Suburban Urology Associates. We welcome Dr. Eli Michaels, Dr. George Schuster, and Dr. Geoffery Engel to UroPartners!
Dr. Laurence Levine's recent overseas work
In June 2015, Dr. Levine traveled to Spain to work on issues for Urologic related purposes. While in Madrid, Dr. Levine was an invited speaker for an International Workshop on Peyronie’s Disease. He discussed the recent updates in medical therapy for the disease. He also performed a placement surgery of an IPP and Modeling at Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda University Hospital. Dr. Levine was also invited as co-chair at the 4th International Consultation on Sexual Medicine (ICSM), where he discussed implants, mechanical devices and vascular surgery for erectile dysfunction.
SEA Blue Prostate Cancer Walk/Run 2015
Lincoln Park - September 13, 2015
UroPartners is a proud support of the SEA Blue Prostate Cancer Walk. Each year UroPartners teams up with Us Too International, a non-for-profit agency that provides valuable insight into treatment and recovery, to raise funds for prostate cancer survivors and their families through the SEA Blue annual walk & run. SEA Blue is the only event of its kind in the Chicago area targeted for men’s health. The proceeds that are raised from SEA Blue benefit Us Too prostate cancer education and support programs. To register for the walk please visit:www.seablueprostatewalk.org
Men's Health Week
UroPartners supports Men's Health Week. The purpose of Men’s Health Week is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men.Make sure you wear blue to support the cause!
Access your Medical Information Online
UroPartners is excited to bring you the latest advance in Personal Health Information Management. UroPartners has teamed up with FollowMyHealth to bring you the opportunity to securely view and manage your health information at your fingertips. You can access your patient account anytime, anywhere, and even on the go.
Once registered, you will be able to:
-Send your doctor a message
-Make or cancel an appointment
-Request a prescription refill
-View, print, fax, or email your health records and results
If you would like to sign up for UroPartners' FollowMyHealth patient portal, please inquire about how at your office visit!
Prostate Support Group
We invite you to join our Prostate Cancer Support group for men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The group meets the second Wednesday of every other month at 6:30 pm. In this confidential setting we offer:
- Information about Prostate Cancer and the latest treatment options.
- Open discussion about coping, adjusting, and problem solving.
- Opportunity to share experiences and feelings in an atmosphere of respect and sensitivity.
- Emotional support for those men who have recently been diagnosed, are undergoing treatment, or have completed their treatment.
- A time for men to gather together for inspiration, information, education, and camaraderie.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
UroPartners is the only community-based urology group in the Chicagoland area to have access to a new, breakthrough treatment for certain men with advanced prostate cancer who have limited treatment options. PROVENGE, an FDA-approved vaccine, is designed to work differently than hormone therapy or chemotherapy. As an autologous cellular immunotherapy, this treatment uses cells from a patient's own immune system to identify and attack prostate cancer cells.
Treatment with PROVENGE includes three doses given approximately two weeks apart. After three infusions, treatment with PROVENGE is complete. Potential reactions include fever and flu-like symptoms, but the procedure is generally well-tolerated.
For more information about this promising new treatment, talk with a UroPartners physician.