| (L.-R.) Jeffrey T. Schiff, MD, Attending Urologist at Winthrop-University Hospital; Aaron E. Katz, MD, Chairman of the Department of Urology; Philip Ragno, MD, FACC, Director of Cardiovascular Health and Wellness at Winthrop-University Hospital, President of Island Cardiac Specialists.
The American male is notoriously hesitant to seek medical treatment, especially in nonurgent situations. Providing comprehensive, coordinated men's services, Winthrop University Hospital makes it easy for the men of Long Island to receive multispecialty preventive care and medical management. "Men have been shy about going to their physician in the past, largely because they're worried about abnormal findings," said Aaron E. Katz, MD, Chairman of the Department of Urology at Winthrop-University Hospital.
"Men have unique health concerns and need to go to their physicians earlier and more frequently. Winthrop-University Hospital has established a comprehensive men's health service line to accompany its women's health services and provide the individualized screening and treatment men need with a more personalized approach." Collaboration is essential to providing optimal men's health services at Winthrop, and the streamlined construction greatly benefits patients. As part of the program, the Division of Urology works in concert with the Division of Cardiology, as well as other disciplines, to provide first-rate services and care for a host of medical conditions.
"We offer expert care for everything men are at risk for," noted Jeffrey T. Schiff, MD, Attending Urologist at Winthrop-University Hospital. "The ability to coordinate care between multiple specialties facilitates efficiency and expediency."
If patients are experiencing potential signs of heart disease or other heart-related conditions, they can easily be referred to a member of Winthrop's cardiovascular team, an endocrine physician or a Board Certified cardiologist. Because many risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, activity level, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and smoking, are modifiable, Philip Ragno, MD, FACC, Director of Cardiovascular Health and Wellness at Winthrop-University Hospital, President of Island Cardiac Specialists, emphasizes education as a preventive strategy.
"I stress that if men optimize their modifiable cardiac risk factors by the age of 50, the likelihood of suffering from a cardiovascular death prior to age 90 can be reduced to as low as five percent," noted Dr. Ragno.
"A little effort on their part can have a dramatic impact on heart risk over the course of their lifetimes."
At Winthrop, patients have access to the gamut of leading edge diagnostic capabilities, including echocardiograms, stress testing, nuclear stress testing, echocardiographic stress testing and CT coronary angiography to pinpoint cardiac disease progression and assess its severity.
While men receive care for all aspects of their health at Winthrop, prostate cancer remains a focal point, as approximately 230,000 new cases of the disease are diagnosed in the United States each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Men with early stage cancer confined to the prostate can benefit from CyberKnife radiosurgery performed by experts at Winthrop's CyberKnife Center in Mineola (or Winthrop's new CyberKnife Center in Manhattan). The CyberKnife Radiosurgery System uses technology similar to that used in cruise missile guidance systems to deliver radiation with pinpoint accuracy.
When surgical intervention is indicated, urologists at Winthrop offer a number of minimally invasive options, from laparoscopic robotic prostatectomy (a minimally invasive procedure that involves small incisions and a small camera to aid in removing the prostate for treatment of prostate cancer) to leading edge ablative modalities (direct local application of thermal energy to destroy cancer cells). One of the least invasive methods available is cryotherapy, a modality that uses argon gas to create small ice balls that kill the cancerous prostate gland.
"For patients looking for an option other than radical surgery or radiation, focal cryotherapy is an excellent treatment option," said Dr. Katz, who is an internationally recognized expert in the field of prostate cryosurgery. In fact, he was recently elected to serve as the President of the American College of Cryosurgery.
Cancer isn't the only condition that causes problems in the prostate. If the gland grows, it can affect the urinary tract and cause a wide range of complications.
"As the prostate gets bigger, it can cause obstructive or bothersome urinary symptoms, such as frequency, urgency, weak stream, incomplete emptying or getting up in the middle of the night to urinate," Dr. Schiff explained. "Typically, these patients are treated with medical therapy, but that's a lifelong commitment with associated side effects and cost concerns. In the past, when patients chose against medicinal intervention, we would offer resection treatments to remove some of the obstructive prostate tissue. Before UroLift was approved, that's all we were able to offer."
The recently FDA-approved UroLift, available at Winthrop, is the first permanent implant to open the urinary tract and restore urine flow for men 50 and older.
"UroLift is a procedure in which we essentially Ã¢Â?Â?pull back the curtains' of the obstructive tissue without resecting it," Dr. Schiff said. "It's akin to the function of a belt and suspenders in that it holds the tissue in place, out of the way of the urinary tract, with minimal side effects."
As many as 30 million men in the United States suffer from Erectile Dysfunction (ED), according to the American Urological Association. Winthrop-University Hospital's comprehensive men's services include managing such issues, which often arise as men age. Staff urologists counsel patients using a stepwise approach that includes conservative approaches with medications as well as surgical implants if needed.
"There is a need for one place where men can come to get help with diet, cancer screenings, genomic testing, heart health and other matters and that's Winthrop," said Dr. Katz.
For more information about Men's Wellness at Winthrop-University Hospital, call 1-866-WINTHROP or visit www.winthrop.org.