When do kidney stones pass?

August 18, 2014

Kidney stones pass once they are out of the kidney, traveling down the ureter to the bladder. Stones that are <5mm can usually pass on their own. Some patients may choose conservative treatment and observe their stones, rather than go through a surgical procedure. This usually includes stones that are less than 6mm, not causing severe pain or obstruction of urine, and may be near the bladder, close to passing…. Read more

8 Signs You Are At Risk for Kidney Stones

August 16, 2014

Kidney stones have a higher chance of developing based on poor diet, certain medications and genetics. What are some common indicators? 1. Low water intake or decreased hydration 2. High caffeine intake such as coffee, soda, tea, energy drinks (>2-3 beverages per day) 3. Obesity 5. Poor diet 4. Family history 5. High intake of oxalate rich foods (spinach, nuts, tea, etc.) 6. Certain medications may cause kidney stones, one… Read more

Prostate Exam FAQs

August 14, 2014

Do prostate exams hurt? The prostate is located deep in the pelvis in between the bladder and rectum. In order to access the prostate for an exam, a finger is inserted into the rectum. This is referred to as a “digital rectal exam,” and allows for evaluation of size and masses of tumors. Also, the “digital rectal exam” evaluates inflammation or infection or the prostate. When do prostate exams start?… Read more

What does a urologist treat?

August 13, 2014

At the Austin Urology Institute, we hear from a lot of people that they don’t know what a Urologist does.  I often tell my patients that I am a “Plumber for People.”  What does that mean?  Well, we treat diseases involving the genitourinary tract.  That involves the kidneys and the ureters, which take urine down to the bladder. It also includes the testicles and penis in men, and many vaginal/incontinence… Read more

When do kidney stones require surgery?

August 12, 2014

Surgery on kidney stones should be reserved as an option for cases where observation has failed. Surgery may be needed if a stone: – does not pass after a reasonable period of time (usually about 1-2 weeks) – Causes constant and intractable pain – Causes persistent nausea and vomiting – Is too large to pass on its own (>6mm) – Blocks the flow of urine – Causes ongoing urinary tract… Read more

Can Varicoceles contribute to Low Testosterone?

August 11, 2014

At the Austin Urology Institute, we have treated varicoceles, or abnormal dilated veins around the testicle, for several reasons.  These include a large varicocele that causes progressive pain as the day goes on, as well as a large varicocele causing infertility, or high numbers of abnormal sperm.  However, recently, there has been some interest in the possibility that large varicoceles could be contributing to low testosterone levels. Here is an… Read more

Best kidney cancer treatment options in Austin

August 10, 2014

Depending upon the stage of cancer, kidney cancer is very treatable. Options for treatment vary depending upon the stage and size of the tumors. In Austin and surrounding areas such as Georgetown, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop and San Marcos the Austin Urology Institute is nearby. At the Austin Urology Institute Dr.Shaw has the experience to perform Da Vinci Robotic Partial Nephrectomy. This process uses robotic instruments that are the size… Read more

What is testosterone?

August 8, 2014

Testosterone is a steroid hormone. Mostly the testicles produce testosterone, and a small amount is produced by the adrenal glands. The testicles receive a signal from hormones in the pituitary gland (in your brain) that tell them to either start or stop testosterone production. Testosterone is used in the medical world to regulate many functions such as energy, sex drive, mood, muscle integrity, and erectile dysfunction. Is testosterone good for… Read more

How does prostate cancer spread?

August 6, 2014

Prostate cancer spreads (metastasizes) when the cancer cells have migrated away from the prostate. It can spread through the lymph nodes and/or bloodstream. Metastasis of prostate cancer typically occurs in the bone, brain, lungs, and liver. When does it spread to the bones? Prostate cancer will spread to the bones only when it is not controlled. At this point the cancer is considered aggressive and metastatic. What are the treatment… Read more