09 January 2018
We asked some of our Consultant Urologists what the most common urological issues are and the treatments available:
The most common health problem for men over the age of 50 is known medically as lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Alan Doherty, consultant Urologist at Spire Parkway Hospital explains, ‘What this means, in practical terms, is having to get up to go to the toilet at night several times, a sudden and urgent need to get to the toilet, needing the toilet frequently but often, having a poor flow.’
The most common cause of LUTS is having an enlarged prostate. The prostate continues to grow during a man’s lifespan and as it expands, it can restrict the urethra (the tube carrying urine from the bladder out of the body) making it difficult to empty the bladder properly. The medical term for this is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
We also see men who have developed kidney infections because they are not emptying their bladder properly, so urine is ‘backing up’ causing serious infections. We also see men who have gone into retention: meaning their bladder has become fully blocked and they need to use a catheter to pass urine’.
Men can visit the team of Consultant Urologists at the Birmingham Prostate Clinic, based at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, Birmingham for a bladder flow rate scan and consultation which will establish the cause of any symptoms and the best treatment options. The clinic provides the full range of effective, proven surgical treatments, including UroLift and GreenLight laser surgery.
Women too can also suffer with continence problems for a long time before seeking help.
‘A runner recently described lining up with other women for a half marathon and discovering that many of the runners, like herself, were wearing ladies’ continence pads because they were worried about leaks during the run,’ explains Maya Harris, Consultant Urologist at Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull, Birmingham.
The most common cause of incontinence in women is stress incontinence, which means the bladder, pelvic floor and urethral muscles are not strong enough to hold in urine. These muscles are often weakened by pregnancy and childbirth, but can also be affected by menopause, smoking and excess weight. ‘The most important message for women is that you don’t have to wear pads for the rest of your life, by seeing a specialist, you will have a very precise assessment of your bladder and pelvic floor function, which is the first step to finding the right treatment for you’, explains Mrs Harris.
Mohammed Belal, a Consultant Urologist at Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull, Birmingham, specialises in treatments for women with complex and severe incontinence, receiving referrals for patients from all over the country who need specialist help.
‘When we treat stress incontinence, we always start by considering the least invasive option, only a small minority will need surgery. We can successfully treat most women using pelvic floor retraining and behavioural techniques. Equally, we can help women with the most difficult, challenging forms of incontinence’ explains Mr Belal.
You can see the full list of our Consultant Urologists by clicking here