For Women

Female Patient On Ct Scan Bed

Urinary problems can be among a woman’s most bothersome and uncomfortable health concerns.

Did you know that urologists are trained in the evaluation and management of women’s bladder and urinary disorders? Our Board Certified Urologists have the expertise, skill and experience to provide you with accurate, individual diagnosis and treatment (non-operative or surgical) for all your urological conditions.

West Georgia Urology specializes in Women’s Urological care and treatment of the following:

Conditions

Atrophic vaginitis

Vaginitis is a common inflammation of the vaginal lining and the vulva, the folds of skin surrounding the vaginal opening. It is often a result of infection by one of various microorganisms, but vaginitis may also be caused by irritation from soaps or medications, an allergic reaction, or hormonal changes. The three most common types of vaginitis are candidiasis (yeast infection), trichomoniasis (infection by a tiny, one-celled organism called a protozoan), and bacterial vaginosis. Although irritating, vaginitis is not a serious health risk, and it typically subsides quickly with treatment. Recurrent or persistent cases may be associated with an underlying medical condition.

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Bladder cancers

Bladder Cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the bladder. The most common type of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma. This cancer affects the inner lining of the bladder. We do not know the cause of bladder cancer but we do know smoking is the greatest risk factor for bladder cancer. Smokers get bladder cancer twice as often as people who don’t smoke. Bladder cancer is also much more common in men than women and Whites are twice as likely as African Americans and Hispanics to develop bladder cancer. Often the first symptom of bladder cancer is hematuria (blood in the urine).

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Bladder Control

In people with an overactive bladder (OAB), the layered, smooth muscle that surrounds the bladder (detrusor muscle) contracts spastically, sometimes without a known cause, which results in sustained, high bladder pressure and the urgent need to urinate (called urgency). Normally, the detrusor muscle contracts and relaxes in response to the volume of urine in the bladder and the initiation of urination.

People with OAB often experience urgency at inconvenient and unpredictable times and sometimes lose control before reaching a toilet. Thus, overactive bladder interferes with work, daily routine, intimacy and sexual function; causes embarrassment; and can diminish self-esteem and quality of life.

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Cystocele

Stress incontinence occurs when the bladder neck and urethra do not close properly. When these structures move down and bulge (herniate) through weakened pelvic floor muscles, they are said to be hypermobile. Herniation, or cystocele, changes the angle of the urethra, which causes it to remain open and allow urine to leak out.

People with stress incontinence lose urine involuntarily during physical activities that put pressure on the abdomen. This type of incontinence is often seen in women after they reach middle age. A weak pelvic floor and a poorly supported urethral sphincter cause stress incontinence.

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Blood in the Urine

Hematuria is the presence of blood, specifically red blood cells, in the urine. Whether the blood is visible only under a microscope or visible to the naked eye, hematuria is a sign that something is causing bleeding in the genitourinary tract: the kidneys, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters), the prostate gland (in men), the bladder, or the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body (urethra).

Bleeding may happen once or it may be recurrent. It can indicate different problems in men and women. Causes of this condition range from non-life threatening (e.g., urinary tract infection) to serious (e.g., cancer, kidney disease). Therefore, a physician should be consulted as soon as possible.

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Kidney Cancers

West Georgia Urology often sees patients for an evaluation of a mass in the kidney. The mass is often discovered after an x-ray, CT scan or ultrasound has been performed for another condition or due to abnormal lab results.

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Kidney Stones

Kidney stones affect more than 10 percent of the American population and are becoming more common. There are a variety of factors that lead to the formation of stones, and an individual plan for the treatment of the current stone and a future stone prevention plan will be discussed with the patient.

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Neurogenic Bladder

Neurogenic bladder is a condition in which the nerves of the urinary system don’t work properly. It can lead to different kinds of problems, including urine leakage if the muscles holding urine do not get the right message. For some, the muscles don’t get the message the bladder is full and it’s time to let go. If the bladder becomes too full, urine may back up into the kidneys, and the extra pressure causes damage to the tiny blood vessels in the kidney. Urine that stays too long may also cause an infection of the bladder and/or kidneys.

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Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)

Stress incontinence occurs when the bladder neck and urethra do not close properly. When these structures move down and bulge (herniate) through weakened pelvic floor muscles, they are said to be hypermobile. Herniation, or cystocele, changes the angle of the urethra, which causes it to remain open and allow urine to leak out.

People with stress incontinence lose urine involuntarily during physical activities that put pressure on the abdomen. This type of incontinence is often seen in women after they reach middle age. A weak pelvic floor and a poorly supported urethral sphincter cause stress incontinence.

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Urinary Incontinence

Difficulty with bladder control and urinary leakage is a common issue with women. West Georgia Urology provides the expert knowledge and experience to properly diagnose and treat Urinary Incontinence in Women.

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Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection that usually occurs when bacteria enter the opening of the urethra and multiply in the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters), the bladder, and the tube that carries urine from the bladder (urethra).

The special connection of the ureters at the bladder help prevent urine from backing up into the kidneys, and the flow of urine through the urethra helps to eliminate bacteria. Men, women, and children develop UTIs.

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Vaginal Prolapse

Vaginal prolapse, also called pelvic organ prolapse, occurs when an organ in the pelvis (e.g., uterus, urethra, bladder) or the top portion of the vagina (called the vaginal vault) drops down into or protrudes through (herniates) the vagina. Muscles, ligaments, and other structures around the vagina help support the pelvic organs, keeping them in place. Vaginal prolapse can occur when this support system weakens or is damaged.

Approximately 30–40% of all women experience pelvic organ prolapse. The condition occurs most often in women over the age of 40. It is more common in women who have given birth, women who have experienced menopause, and women who have had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).

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Dysuria

Burning with urination, with or without infection

Nocturia

Getting up frequently at night to urinate

Procedures

Bladder Scan

Measures residual urine for incomplete bladder emptying.

CT Scan

(Both with and without contrast)

A CT scan (computerized tomography) is a diagnostic imaging procedure. It involves using a combination of computer software and X-rays to produce images of the body in detail.

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Cystoscopy

The Cystoscopy is a procedure that is performed with a local anesthetic, using a small telescope, inserted into the urethra. With the Cystoscopy, the physician can look inside the urethra and bladder to help with diagnosing problems with the urinary tract.

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Inflatable Artificial Sphincter

Sphincters are muscles that allow your body to hold in urine. An inflatable artificial (human-made) sphincter is a medical device that keeps urine from leaking when your urinary sphincter no longer works well. When you need to urinate, the cuff of the artificial sphincter can be relaxed so urine can flow out.

You will have either general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia before the procedure. With general anesthesia, you will be asleep and will not feel pain. With spinal anesthesia, you will be awake but numb from the waist down, and you will not feel pain.

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Interstim Stage 1 Testing

InterStim® therapy is a reversible treatment for people with urge incontinence caused by overactive bladder who do not respond to behavioral treatments or medication. InterStim is an implanted neurostimulation system that sends mild electrical pulses to the sacral nerve, the nerve near the tailbone that influences bladder control muscles. Stimulation of this nerve may relieve the symptoms related to urge incontinence.

Prior to implantation, the effectiveness of the therapy is tested on a outpatient basis with an external InterStim device. For a period of 3 to 5 days, the patient records voiding patterns that occur with stimulation. The record is compared to recorded voiding patterns without stimulation. The comparison demonstrates whether the device effectively reduces symptoms. If the test is successful, the patient may choose to have the device implanted.

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Neuromodulation/Urgent PC

InterStim® therapy is a reversible treatment for people with urge incontinence caused by overactive bladder who do not respond to behavioral treatments or medication. InterStim is an implanted neurostimulation system that sends mild electrical pulses to the sacral nerve, the nerve near the tailbone that influences bladder control muscles. Stimulation of this nerve may relieve the symptoms related to urge incontinence.

Prior to implantation, the effectiveness of the therapy is tested on a outpatient basis with an external InterStim device. For a period of 3 to 5 days, the patient records voiding patterns that occur with stimulation. The record is compared to recorded voiding patterns without stimulation. The comparison demonstrates whether the device effectively reduces symptoms. If the test is successful, the patient may choose to have the device implanted.

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Pelvic Floor Muscle Relaxation

Pelvic Floor Muscle Relaxation (PFMR) is a non-surgical treatment. It helps to rehabilitate the muscles of the pelvis. This then will help the patient with bladder and bowel control. The muscles of the pelvic floor in the body support the bladder, rectum, uterus, and ovaries. With aging and after childbirth particularly, these muscles become weaker and/or dysfunctional. Many women suffer chronically with problems like pelvic pain, stress or urge incontinence and/or chronic constipation due to these dysfunctional muscles. Some men who have had surgery for prostate cancer experience difficulty with urinary control, and these muscles are crucial to regaining urinary control. PFMR allows these patients to identify these muscles and begin a strengthening regimen.

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Renal & Bladder Ultrasounds

Renal ultrasound is a diagnostic study that images the kidney with specialized sound waves. While the patient lies on an exam table, an ultrasound probe is placed against the abdomen along with a special gel that helps transmit sound waves. Images are made of both kidneys, but not the other organs in the abdomen. The entire procedure only takes a few minutes.

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Urodynamics Testing

Urodynamic testing is a diagnostic test to evaluate the bladder’s function and responsiveness for the emptying and storage of urine. Most patients will experience some slight burning with urination and/or pass a small amount of blood for the first 24 hours after the procedure. If the burning persists for longer than 24 hours, or if the patient has heavy bleeding or passage of clots, is unable to urinate and/or has a fever over 101 degrees, the patient should contact us.

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Female Urethral Sling

A Female Urethral Sling is a narrow mesh band placed surgically below the mid urethra for permanent correction of female stress urinary incontinence. West Georgia Urology specializes in minimally invasive treatment of incontinence in females and offers many treatment options, which includes the latest surgical procedures. While a Urethral Sling is not indicated for all women with urinary incontinence due to the fact that there are many causes of this problem, it is a highly effective solution for women who have stress incontinence.

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Anterior/Posterior Prolapse Surgery

Anterior/Posterior Prolapse Surgery is a corrective measure taken to restore the vagina’s anatomy following a prolapse of the bladder or the rectum. The specific approach to this procedure varies from patient to patient, depending on the severity of the prolapse and the options available.

Shockwave Lithotripsy (for kidney stones)

Shockwave Lithotripsy is one of the most popular treatment options for kidney stones today. Though it ultimately depends on the size and shapes of the patient’s stones, this treatment involves the use of pressure waves to break kidney stones apart into equal pieces so that they may be easier to pass.

Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor

A transurethral resection of bladder tumor is a procedure that is most often used to determine whether somebody has bladder cancer. The treatment also allows the care provider to determine the severity of the cancer. It is a common treatment for early-stage or superficial bladder cancers.

Blue Light Cystoscopy

Blue Light Cystoscopy represents an alternative to transurethral resection of bladder tumor in determining the presence of cancer. It involves installing a photosensitizer into the bladder and running light tests that allow the doctor to ascertain whether a tumor is present and how severe it is.