Ladies, I may need to call on you for support today as this week’s topic can send the men in your lives running for cover. As women begin having (very personal) gynecological exams in their teens, you may not initially be terribly sympathetic; however, some men may need a word or two of encouragement today.
And why? There’s a chance that someone close to you has trained himself to live with an uncomfortable, inconvenient or even painful situation simply because he doesn’t want to raise his hand and ask for help.
So, help us both out and stand over him as he reads this column—and don’t let him get away!
Gentlemen, I am aware that many men would rather endure almost anything than a visit to the urologist — but trust me, your time will come whether you’re prepared or not. As the CEO of Physicians Regional Healthcare System, I prefer that you be prepared.
This week, I have enlisted the help of Physicians Regional’s Dr. Barckley Storey to help me out. A urology specialist blessed with a relaxed, disarming nature, Dr. Storey understands a man’s reluctance to seek urological medical care, yet he takes it all in stride: “If you are happy getting up nine times a night to go to the bathroom—if it doesn’t bother you, it doesn’t bother me.” He then adds: “But you’re going to see me eventually.”
Dr. Storey is board certified in urology and specializes in a broad range of urologic conditions. His practice serves those with kidney stones, prostate disease, stress urinary incontinence and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), as well as prostate and renal cancer. About 40% of his work is focused on prostate, kidney and bladder cancer.
“Generally, as men get older, the prostate grows. It’s not like it’s going to regress. It’s not going to get better on its own.”
~ Dr. Barckley Storey
When I asked Dr. Storey what is most misunderstood about his specialty, he theorized that most people tend to group urology into the “prostate” category and don’t understand the scope of issues involved.
That said, let’s look at the primary reasons you would need a urologist’s care:
◼ Blood in Your Urine
◼ Poor Bladder Control
◼ Painful Urination
◼ Pain in Your Lower Stomach, Side of Back, or Groin Region
◼ Fallen Bladder Protrusion
◼ Male Sexual Problems
◼ Overactive Bladder (OAB)
◼ Enlarged Prostate
Dr. Storey originally planned to study plastic surgery. However, as the science of urology is one of the most technically advanced, he changed his path. Urology was the first to adopt robotic surgery as well as some laser techniques and scopes.
Though my focus this week is on male patients, urology is not just for men. Women also visit urologists to treat issues such as bladder prolapse, painful bladder, UTIs, overactive bladder and stress urinary incontinence.
And as for the diagnosis, Dr. Storey simply states: “It’s either a pump or a pipe problem. Either it’s your bladder (the pump) or your urethra (the pipe). Sometimes it’s both. The first thing you have to do is get the diagnosis right.”
Some patients may not realize that diabetes can lead to urgency and frequency issues. And lower back issues can be an indication of urological problems. Smoking is almost as highly associated with bladder cancer as lung cancer. Even after you’ve quit smoking, you’re not out of the woods insofar as developing cancer.
As for his “sooner or later” approach to treatment: “Generally, as men get older, the prostate grows. It’s not like it’s going to regress. It’s not going to get better on its own.”
In many cases, a proper diagnosis is made considerably easier by a procedure referred to as a cystoscopy. This procedure allows the doctor to examine the lining of your bladder and the tube that carries urine out of your body (urethra). A hollow tube equipped with a lens is inserted into the urethra and slowly inserted into the bladder.
Does it hurt? No. Is it uncomfortable? Yes, it can be. According to Dr. Storey: “The more relaxed you are the better. If no issues are found, many are surprised to learn that the procedure can last as little as 30 seconds to a minute. A cystoscopy may appear to be new and scary, but it’s really not.”
Gentlemen, please don’t suffer. Physicians like Dr. Storey are dedicated to thoughtfully and sensitively dealing with very personal issues. Dr. Storey’s sole purpose is to improve your quality of life. And that process for improvement may be much easier than you think.
“There are a lot of procedures that are the equivalent or better than medication,” says Dr. Storey. “There’s a good chance I can so a relatively quick procedure and get you off some of your medication. Why wait? Why not improve your quality of life right now?”
Dr. Storey sees patients at our Marco Island and Collier Boulevard locations. Call 239-348-4221 to make an appointment, or visit PhysiciansRegionalMedicalGroup.com.