New Treatment Eases the Passage of Kidney Stones

New Treatment Eases the Passage of Kidney Stones

kidney-stonesMore than half a million Americans every year visit the emergency room for problems related to kidney stones. In most cases, the stones eventually pass out of the body on their own, but the process can be excruciatingly painful.

Researchers at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have devised a potential treatment that could make passing kidney stones faster and less painful. They have identified a combination of two drugs that relax the walls of the ureter (the tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder) and can be delivered directly to the ureter with a catheter-like instrument.

Relaxing the ureter could help stones move through the tube more easily, the researchers say.

This kind of treatment could also make it easier and less painful to insert stents into the ureter, which is sometimes done after a kidney stone is passed, to prevent the tube from becoming blocked or collapsing.

 

How Does One Get Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are made from hard crystals that accumulate in the kidneys when there is too much solid waste in the urine and not enough liquid to wash it out. It is estimated that about one in 10 people will have a kidney stone at some point in their lives.

While some larger stones require surgery, the usual treatment plan is simply to wait for the stones to pass, which takes an average of 10 days. Patients are given painkillers as well as an oral medication that is meant to help relax the ureter, but studies have offered conflicting evidence on whether this drug actually helps.

“If you look at how kidney stones are treated today, it hasn’t really changed since about 1980, and there’s a pretty substantial amount of evidence that the drugs given don’t work very well,” Lee says. “The volume of how many people this could potentially help is really exciting.”

The researchers first set out to identify drugs that might work well when delivered directly to the ureter. They selected 18 drugs used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure or glaucoma and exposed them to human ureteral cells grown in a lab dish, where they could measure how much the drugs relaxed the smooth muscle cells. They hypothesized that if they delivered such drugs directly to the ureter, they could get a much bigger relaxation effect than by delivering such drugs orally, while minimizing possible harm to the rest of the body.

“We found several drugs that had the effect that we expected, and in every case we found that the concentrations required to be effective were more than would be safe if given systemically,” Cima says.

Next, the researchers used intensive computational processing to individually analyze the relaxation responses of nearly 1 billion cells after drug exposure. They identified two drugs that worked especially well, and found that they worked even better when given together. One of these is nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure, and the other is a type of drug known as a ROCK (rho kinase) inhibitor, which is used to treat glaucoma.

The researchers tested various doses of this combination of drugs in ureters removed from pigs, and showed that they could dramatically reduce the frequency and length of contractions of the ureter. Tests in live pigs also showed that the treatment nearly eliminated ureteral contractions.

For these experiments, the researchers delivered the drugs using a cystoscope, which is very similar to a catheter but has a small fiber optic channel that can connect to a camera or lens. They found that with this type of delivery, the drugs were not detectable in the animals’ bloodstream, suggesting that the drugs remained in the lining of the ureter and did not go elsewhere in the body, which would lessen the risk of potential side effects.

If you think you might be suffering from kidney stones, then you probably need a quality urologist. Pick up the phone and call Z Urology, with offices in South Florida. Call today!

We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, BPH, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.

Does Your Prostate Cancer Require Treatment

Does Your Prostate Cancer Require Treatment

When anyone gets the news “you have cancer”, they naturally assume that it must be removed as soon as possible, and that that is the best course of action. Surprisingly though, in the cases of prostate cancer, sometimes watching and waiting is the best advice.

Here at Z Urology, we offer state-of-the-art treatments to address a wide range of urinary and prostate issues. We provide personalized care and individualized treatment plans in a caring, supportive environment.

While getting a prostate cancer diagnosis is quite scary, the statistics are hopeful. Almost 100% of men with localized (only in the prostate) and regional (cancer in the prostate and nearby structures or lymph nodes) prostate cancer survive for at least five years. In many cases, treatment or emergency treatments right away may not even be necessary.

The Stage of Prostate Cancer Determines the Treatment

Determining your cancer’s stage, if it has spread, and how far it has, is one of the biggest factors to consider in deciding on treatment. Factors used to figure out the stage include:

  • Size or extent of the main tumor
  • If it has spread to other areas in the body
  • If it has spread to lymph nodes nearby
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level as determined by a blood test

Another assessment that helps stage the cancer is the Gleason score. It looks at how abnormal the cancer cells appear under a microscope to help determine how quickly they could grow and spread.

Other Factors to Consider

The stage of cancer isn’t the only consideration when making treatment decisions. Other things one must consider is your age, overall health, and your personal preferences.

For example, if you have a slow-growing cancer and you’re older with other serious health problems, you might view prostate cancer as more of a chronic disease rather than something likely to lead to your death.

Men in this situation may choose to monitor the cancer instead of undergoing any treatments right away. This approach is usually considered when the tumor is small, only in the prostate, isn’t causing any symptoms, and is expected to grow slowly.

Men who are encouraged to undergo treatment are typically healthy, younger men, those with fast-growing cancer, or men whose cancer has spread outside the prostate.

Some treatments do have possible side effects, such as erection problems, incontinence, and bowel issues. Some men may choose to delay any treatments as long as possible to avoid these issues. Others may place their priorities on removing the cancer.

Making Your Own Decision About Prostate Cancer Treatment

Speaking with family and friends can help in the decision-making process. Although every man’s cancer diagnosis and recovery journey is different, discussing the pros and cons with other men who have been in the same situation may be helpful, too.

If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, call one of our offices or book an appointment with Z Urology to discuss your options.

Having a urologist can help in your treatment of your prostate cancer diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, don’t delay. Instead, pick up the phone and call Z Urology, with offices in South Florida. Call today!

We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.

Groundbreaking Research to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

DR. MICHAEL ZAHALSKY TO PRESENT RESULTS OF GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH ON THE USE OF STEM CELLS TO TREAT ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

Coral Springs, FL – May 5, 2014 — Dr. Michael Zahalsky, a prominent South Florida Urologist, has been chosen to give a podium presentation at the upcoming 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association, May 16-21 in Orlando to discuss the results of his research on the use of stem cells to treat erectile dysfunction.

Over a six-month period, Dr. Zahalsky studied the impact stem cells had on a sample of men suffering from erectile dysfunction who did not respond to PDE5 inhibitors, such as the drug Viagra.  After a direct injection of amniotic stem cells into the penis, all eight men in the study had increased blood flow to the penis after one, three, and six months had passed. Additionally, five of the patients were now able to attain erections on their own or by taking oral medication.

“These results show a sustainable improvement in blood flow into the penis which means the patient’s body is likely healing its own penis to allow him to have erections,” says Zahalsky.

One-third of the 300,000 men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction annually in the United States do not respond to conventional drug treatment.  Approximately, 6 million men in America have failed oral and injectable drug therapy.  To date, there has not been an attractive alternative to treat erectile dysfunction. Dr. Zahalsky’s study on the utilization of stem cells in Urology is the first study of its kind in humans to share findings with the medical community.

“This is likely the most significant breakthrough in the treatment for erectile dysfunction since the invention of PDE5 inhibitors,” asserts Zahalsky.

Dr. Michael Zahalsky is a board-certified Urologist and fellowship-trained in Male and Female Sexual Dysfunction and Male Infertility.  Dr. Zahalsky has been published numerous times in peer review journals, including the Journal of Urology and Fertility and Sterility.