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Urology is the medical and surgical specialty that focuses on the urinary tracts of males and females, and on the reproductive system of males. The urinary and reproductive tracts are closely linked, and disorders of one often affect the other. The organs covered by urology include the kidneys, adrenal glands, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra and the male reproductive organs.
- Androgen deficiency and androgen dysfunction: Androgens are a group of hormones that play a role in male traits and reproductive activity. Present in both males and females, the principle androgens are testosterone and androstenedione. Excess amounts of androgens can pose a problem, resulting in such effects as acne, excess hair growth in "inappropriate" places and thinning hair.
- Early detection of prostate cancer and the management of benign and malignant prostate conditions
- Erectile Dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction occurs in as many as 30 million men and is typically caused by treatable physical problems, including abnormal cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease. Treatment options include oral medications, therapy and in some cases, surgery.
- Male Voiding: Male voiding is when the bladder cannot be emptied normally. The causes of this can be waiting too long to urinate, urinating too frequently or trying to urinate when the muscles keeping the urine in the bladder are clamped down.
- Management of adrenal, bladder, ureteral, penile, prostate, kidney and testicular cancers
- Management of Peyronie's Disease: A certain degree of curvature of the penis is considered normal, but this disease may cause pain; hardened, big, cord-like lesions (scar tissue known as "plaques"); or abnormal curvature of the penis when erect due to chronic inflammation of the tunica albuginea (CITA). Treatment could include medication, supplements or therapy and rarely surgery.
- Management of sexually transmitted diseases. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the U.S. The main STDs are chlamydia (one of the most widespread STDs in the U.S.), gonorrhea, syphilis and general herpes, which represent only a fraction of the true burden of STDs. The Center for Disease Control estimates there are approximately 19 million new STD infections each year, which cost the U.S. healthcare system $16.4 billion annually and cost individuals even more in terms of acute and long-term health consequences.
- Precocious puberty: When the signs of puberty begin to show before age 9 in boys, it can be physically and emotionally difficult for kids and can sometimes be the sign of an underlying health problem.
- Vasectomy: A vasectomy is considered a permanent form of birth control. Technology has afforded men the opportunity for a non-surgical option for a vasectomy, which is of great benefit to the patient. A physician can now make a tiny puncture into the skin with a special instrument. This allows the physician to carry out the procedure as he/she normally would, only this time with very little bleeding, no stitches and much quicker healing with little or no scarring.
Florida Hospital East Orlando's andrology specialist sees general urology issues pertaining to men's health as well as the following procedures:
- Male evaluations: Typically, when a female sees her obstetrician about conception issues, the male will be tested for low sperm count. If he tests low, he's then referred to a urologist for a male evaluation, which typically includes another semen analysis, in addition to other lab tests, to determine possible causes. These causes become important not only for further evaluation of infertility, but to overall current and future health of the male.
- Management of semen abnormalities: If one of the tests comes back abnormal, then depending on the abnormality, varying treatments may be recommended. Most semen abnormalities can be at least improved, if not treated altogether.
- Microsurgeries: If intervention is needed, Dr. Patel can perform a multitude of different types of procedures to improve sperm parameters or extract sperm. Among his qualifications are microsurgical techniques, including the "microTESE" procedure to retrieve sperm from the testes by "combing" through the testes to locate the sperm as well as vasectomy reversals and/or correction of problems that may have existed for years or even since birth, as listed below.
- Posthumous reproduction: Saving sperm after a male passes away for his partner's use for assisted reproduction.
- Sex chromosome abnormalities: Male infertility evaluation may reveal abnormalities in the actual sex chromosome that can have implications for overall health of the patient and potential offspring.
- Treatment for low testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction: The male infertility evaluation often unveils issues with erectile dysfunction and endocrine dysfunction. Dr. Patel has been trained to treat these issues not only for the purposes of infertility but for the duration of the male individual's life.
- Reproductive tract obstruction: Obstruction blocking the tube that connects vas deferens to the remaining male reproductive tract. The problem could lie where the tract meets the rest of the urethra, or it may be deeper and can be addressed with either minimally invasive surgery or a combination of minimally invasive and robotic surgery.
- Varicocelectomy: Treatment of testicular veins which may result in increased sperm counts and potentially more overall health benefits.
- Vasoepididymostomy/vasovasostomy/Vasectomy Reversal: Correction of obstruction in the tube connecting the testes to the male reproductive tract. Typically urologists do not do vasectomy reversals and seek an andrologist's expertise.
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