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  • HEBER SPRINGS (M-F, 8am-5pm)
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  • NORTH LITTLE ROCK (M-F, 8am-5pm)
  • RUSSELLVILLE (M-F, 8am-5pm)
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Urological Issues

Latest News


January 2018

What to Expect if You Get Kidney Stones

By: Arkansas Urology

Drinking lots of water, eating foods with vitamins and getting plenty of exercise are all excellent ways to stay healthy and potentially prevent kidney stones, however, for some people this will not be enough. Should you develop a kidney stone though, you need to know what to expect.

Most patients who develop kidney stones don’t realize they have them until they begin experiencing pain. This can be felt as a burning sensation when urinating or when you have a need to urinate, but more often it is felt as a pain in the lower abdomen or back that can be sharp and sudden. This pain is often strong enough to send a patient to the emergency room. It’s important to have sharp lower abdomen or back pain treated because this type of pain is indicative of many other illnesses that can be very serious if left unchecked.

Your doctor may use a blood test to check for high mineral levels, but will more than likely use a form of imaging test like x-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan to look for the stone(s) themselves. You will also be asked to provide a urine sample.

Treatment of kidney stones will often consist of a “watch and wait,” approach that may include medications prescribed for pain management. It is critical to drink a lot of water during this time to help flush out the kidney stone and potentially break it apart. While urination may be painful, it is the only way to pass the stone without additional assistance. Drinking cranberry juice may help to break apart kidney stones further and/or prevent infection.

Stones 10mm in size or smaller can be passed on their own, but stones that show little to no signs of moving or are too large to pass will be treated with medication, shock wave therapy or ureteroscopy. Alpha-Beta blockers help relax the uterine wall so that stones pass more easily. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) uses high-frequency waves to break large stones into smaller, passable pieces. Ureteroscopy uses a thin tube in the urinary tract that allows the doctor to break apart the stone and remove the pieces through the tube. These treatments are typically sufficient for most large stones, but unusually large stones may require surgical removal.

With proper hydration, professional consultation and plenty of rest, kidney stones should pass within a few weeks uneventfully and with minimal discomfort. If you suspect you may have a kidney stone, or have experienced any pain similar to that described in this article, you should call your urologist and schedule an appointment. Contact Arkansas Urology online or call 877-321-8452 to speak directly with a provider, today.




January 2018

What is Urological Cancer?

By: Arkansas Urology

Urological cancer is not one kind of cancer but can refer to many different types of cancer. Within each type, there are varying ranges and grades of each. Bladder, kidney, adrenal, prostate, penile and testicular cancer all fall under the scope of urological cancer. Urological cancer is an umbrella term used for all of these specific types. Some of these conditions are gender-specific, while some can affect all people.

Since there are several types of urological cancer, symptoms could range anywhere from trouble with urinating, pain when using the bathroom, blood, lower back pain, fatigue, weight loss, rash, achy pain, enlargement, just to list a few. Again, if you are experiencing any of these, see your doctor. Because there are various types, there are also various treatment plans. As a result of all of these being different, your signs and symptoms will vary too. With any type of urological cancer, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. And we definitely cannot group all urological cancers together to say that certain symptoms and treatments apply to each kind.

It’s best to speak with your doctor if you think you are experiencing any symptoms that seem unusual or are out of the ordinary for you. Just because you may be experiencing issues doesn’t mean it’s urological cancer, it could be another treatable condition. However, it’s always best to consult with a physician as soon as possible to get the right diagnosis. 




December 2017

New da Vinci XI offers more benefits to traditional surgery

By: Arkansas Urology

Article previously published in the Log Cabin Democrat.

Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway recently acquired cutting-edge technology that is reshaping the way doctors perform surgery and drastically reducing recovery time for patients. Using four arms that connect into ports with the surgeon sitting at his own machine — like a video game essentially — the da Vanci XI Surgical System provides doctors with 3D visualization, great magnification in the body to perform precise and delicate maneuvers and ability to see small structural issues. It is vital for patients to have the best outcome possible while decreasing the risk of possible surgery complications, hospital stay and recovery time. The hospital purchased the robot for $2.5 million, the surgery bed for better movement at around $100,000 and other pieces of equipment in September, making the Conway location the first in the state to have the complete system. The da Vinci Xi is used multiple times a week by Urologist Dr. Jeff Marotte and Dr. Joseph Ivy in gynecologic oncology, among others. One of the reasons the robot is so revolutionary is because of the decreased amount of time it takes to perform the surgery in the first place. By 1 p.m. Dec. 7, Ivy had already completed seven surgeries that day. “[That’s] kind of a testament to how efficient the crew is and the technology — how it’s advanced and how it’s able to do very difficult surgeries that used to take twice, three times as long and recovery was five, six, seven times as long and allows us to do everything in concise, more precise manners,” he said.

That aspect, Ivy said, directly correlates to how technology has evolved in the medical field through the years. Doctors once only performed open surgery which came with more risks, longer recovery time for patients and morbid scarring. Ivy has been practicing for more 10 years, and about halfway through his fellowship, the robotic systems became more prominent. “It took a little while for even our community to believe it because we always think we’re a bunch of open surgeons,” he said. “We used to be. We always thought open surgery was the only way to do it.” Ivy said it took multiple studies to prove to the surgeons that doing a procedure laparoscopically or robotically — minimally invasive surgeries — produced just as good outcomes but also incredibly altered recovery periods. Ivy said, the robot has found it’s place — it’s sweet spot—used in surgeries in small areas requiring precise maneuvers. “The optics are 1,000s times better,” he said. “You can visualize in multiple difference wavelengths and so I can see vessels, I can see [the] ureter, I can see lymph nodes that you can’t see laparoscopically, so you’re way more precise with your staging.” Ivy said his favorite part about the da Vinci XI is the overall outcomes from survival rate to short-term recovery with less pain and suffering, to shorter hospital stays and lower risk of infection and bleeding. “Everything that you could ever think about surgery is minimized with the robot so being able to take a complex situation like a malignancy and minimize all risks is absolutely the reason the robot should be in existence,” he said. What he’s found, Ivy said, is that most people aren’t taking advantage of the technology simply because they aren’t aware of it’s existence, let alone how it performs. “It’s really sad that somebody has such technology that could really, really improve their outcome to such an advantage and nobody knows about it,” he said.

“It’s kind of bizarre that it’s like that.” Especially the “latest, greatest, absolute most technologically advanced one” Baptist currently possesses. Dr. Marotte, who has been in urology for 12 years, said he hardly does open surgeries anymore and when it comes down to it, performs close to 95 percent of procedures with the hospital’s robot. “There are things I can see in the body that maybe [are] so minute and so delicate that I can appreciate the anatomy and just really do a really beautiful surgery whereas before there was too much blood loss and I couldn’t see clearly,” he said. Marotte said using the robot allows him to do more physically than he could with his own hands — essentially like laparoscopic surgery on steroids — while sitting comfortably at a machine, not over a patient on foot, which could actually extend his career. “It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “Obviously, I’m highly focused during surgery and that’s all I’m thinking about during surgery but what’s the most [rewarding] is seeing the patient after surgery, one month later, their life is changed, hopefully they’re cured or much improved from where they were before and they’re back to work and back to their daily life.” Terri Pendergraft, the director of Perioperative Services and Cath Lab/ IVR, said that is essentially the point of why they do what they do — the good of the patient. The surgery, which doesn’t cost more for the patient and is covered by insurance, was worth every penny, she said. “Our whole goal is to give a patient back their life, their mobility, to do the things they want to do,” Pendergraft said. “We want to give them the best outcome possible and the da Vinci [XI] allows us to do that very technical surgery. That’s something that we strive to give and that’s what gives us the edge.” According to a news release, the da Vinci Surgical System first became available in 2000 and since that time, more than 3,000,000 procedures have been completed worldwide. Currently, the system is used for general, urology, gynecology and cardiothoracic surgeries.



December 2017

10 Tips for a Healthy 2018

By: Arkansas Urology


New year means new goals. Here at Arkansas Urology, we want you to be happy and healthy by helping you and your family  make wise, healthy decisions regarding your wellbeing over the course of the next year. Think of focusing on your kidneys and bladder this year to boost your urologic health. Here is our list of our top 10 tips for a healthy 2018.

  1. Stay hydrated! This helps to rid your body of waste, toxins, and ensure your kidneys and bladder are working well.
  2. Exercise your pelvic floor muscles by doing kegel exercises.
  3. Choose to be smoke-free. Smoking has the potential to increase bladder and kidney cancers.
  4. Empty your bladder before bed.
  5. Make sure to bathe thoroughly every day to prevent infections.
  6. Maintain a healthy weight by exercising regularly.
  7. Try to limit your intake of salt since it makes you retain more water and is hard on your kidneys.
  8. Resist the urge to hold it in. Go to the restroom when nature calls.
  9. Avoid eating foods that may irritate your bladder such as acidic foods like tomatoes and oranges.
  10. Of course, make plans to visit your urologist for checkups throughout the year!

We hope these top 10 tips for a healthy 2018 help you reach your goals and enjoy a year full of health!



Swings for Screens

Teach. Test. Treat. The Swings for Screens Foundation provides free patient education and health screenings men. We want to be at your next event.

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Kickoff to Men's Health

Arkansas Urology and Epoch Men’s Health observe National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month each September by offering men a free and complete health screening.

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