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There are lots of bodily functions we don’t think about — until they start to bother us.
The urinary tract and organs such as the bladder and prostate probably fall into this category. Yet, they are critical to good health. When it’s time to check this vital system, make an appointment with an expert in the field — Dr. Jude Barbera (376 Sixth Avenue, 718-499-4100 or 3632 Nostrand Avenue, 718-332-4080).
People see a urologist for various reasons. A common complaint for many men as they age is difficulty urinating. They may get up frequently during the night to use the bathroom. When this occurs, a visit to the urologist is needed. The reason for this distress may very well be that the prostate has become enlarged. As a result, it puts pressure on other internal functions. For example, it can squeeze the urethra, restricting to some degree, the flow of urine. In addition, the bladder may not fully empty when the bathroom is used and/or it may fill up quickly, says the doctor.
This is all very annoying, but it’s a condition that needs medical intervention. If left untreated, things can become complicated. Urinary tract infections, bleeding, and kidney stones may ensue. According to the American Urology Association, abnormal growth of the prostate begins after age 40, and by the age of 60, it is something that 60 per cent of men experience. By the age of 80, the statistics are even higher.
These are staggering figures, but the good news is that there are a number of innovative treatments that make correctly these issues a lot less complicated than they once were. At one point, major surgery was the only option. But now, the latest alternatives can be done right in Dr. Barbera’s office. It means missing less work time, and recovering much more quickly.
For example, one of the newest methods is a “microwave treatment,” which takes just 40 minutes to shrink the prostate, says the doctor. It accomplishes this goal by getting rid of prostate tissue; thereby reducing the prostate’s size. Yet, it’s all done right at the office, with an IV sedation, says Dr. Barbera.
Another innovative technique is the use of low-level radio frequency energy to destroy excess prostate tissue. This procedure is also done in the office, with an IV sedation, says the doctor. Both methods allow for more “normal urination.”
Women, too, are subject to urinary problems as they age, says Dr. Barbera. For example, many release urine when they cough or sneeze. In the past, major surgery was needed to correct this problem. Some doctors are still doing things the “old-fashioned way,” says the doctor, performing surgery to “lift the bladder.”
But extensive surgery can be avoided, says the doctor, as women, too, can take advantage of the latest procedures that can be performed at his office. Now, “a 10-15 minute procedure” can take care of this common occurrence, known as stress incontinence.
Kidney stones can be very painful, but the newest procedure to rid your body of them is not. Lithotripsy uses send waves to break up stones so they can pass naturally. “There’s no need to go to the hospital,” says Dr. Barbera. Again, this is a treatment that can be done in the office, with an IV sedation.
It’s also important to see a urologist for early screening for cancer.
The Brooklyn-born Dr. Barbera is a Board-certified fellow of the American College of Surgeons who has been in practice for 21 years. He is known for being caring and compassionate. The staff, too, is there to assist and make patients feel comfortable. If English isn’t your first language, note that Spanish and Russian are also spoken.
Most major medical plans are accepted. In addition to the two Brooklyn locations, the doctor also has an office in Queens.
Make an appointment to see Dr. Barbera Mondays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Nostrand Avenue; Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Queens; Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Park Slope; and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Nostrand Avenue, and from 1-5 p.m. in Park Slope. Saturday and Sunday appointments are also available.
The doctor alternates between the Nostrand Avenue and Park Slope offices on these days.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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