Frequently Asked Questions

It’s common to have questions when faced with medical testing or unexpected issues. As experts, it’s our job to make sure you’re informed, confident and comfortable. See below for a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about urology in general and our practice in particular.

General Urology Questions

What is urology?
Urology is a surgical specialty that addresses male and female diseases of the urinary tract, as well as male reproductive system disorders.

What are the training requirements for a urologist?
Most urology residencies require at least two years of general surgical training, followed by an additional four years of specialty training in urologic surgery.

Do urologists treat both males and females?
Yes. Urologists treat men and women of all ages.

What are some of the common conditions that urologists treat?
Although our group can treat virtually any urologic condition, some of the more common disorders include impotence or erectile dysfunction; incontinence or loss of bladder control; kidney stones and other diseases of the kidney; infertility; and prostate diseases (both benign and malignant).

Impotence

What kinds of non-surgical therapies are available for men with impotence?
Caverject® is one popular form of treatment. The therapy involves medication that is directly injected into the penis to produce an erection.

Are there any oral medications used for treating impotence?
Viagra®, Levitra® and Cialis® are effective and safe oral agents for appropriate candidates. For example, men with a history of cardiovascular disease and especially men who are currently taking agents from the nitroglycerine family are not candidates for treatment with this class of drugs.

Are there any other non-surgical impotence treatments?
Yes. The vacuum constriction device is another excellent non-surgical treatment option. This system uses a plastic cylinder that is placed over the penis; a small pump is then used to create negative pressure, which acts to “pull” blood into the penis – producing an erection. A rubber band is then applied to the base of the penis, so that blood is trapped in the erect penis to sustain the erection until the band is removed.

What are my options if non-surgical impotence treatments don't work?
Penile implant surgery is always an option for men who aren’t happy with other treatments. We can do most penile implant procedures on an outpatient basis with a relatively short recovery period.

Other Urology Conditions

Is there anything new in the treatment of kidney stones?
Most stones in either the kidney or the ureter (the tube that carries the urine from the kidney to the bladder) are now treated with a non-invasive shockwave technique called lithotripsy. We have access to the most modern equipment for treating stones on an outpatient basis.

What are the current screening guidelines for prostate cancer?
The American Cancer Society recommends annual screening for all men over the age of 50, including a digital rectal exam and a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test. Men with a family history of prostate cancer should start yearly screenings between age 40 and 45.

Are there new developments for the treatment of urinary incontinence in women?
Yes. There are several new products and procedures available for treating incontinence, including the new tension-free vaginal tape. Contact us for more details.

Vasectomies

What information do I need before I schedule a vasectomy?
We’re happy to provide you with a packet of information that describes the procedure in detail. Contact us to request a packet.

What is a non-scalpel vasectomy?
The non-scalpel vasectomy has become very popular in the U.S. because of the decreased discomfort that men experience with this particular technique. Our group performs the no-scalpel vasectomy, and we would be happy to provide you with more information about this procedure. Contact us for more details.

Texas Urology Specialists

Does your group participate in managed care plans?
Yes. We currently participate in more than 50 such plans, including many major healthcare plans in Texas, as well as Medicare.

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Jeffrey C. Toubin

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