As many of you know, I like to write blogs on major holidays. Groundhog Day is certainly not one of them, but in this case, it is appropriate for what I need to announce: I am closing Greater Austin Urology, and merging with NAU Urology Specialists.
We all know the story and the movie. On this day, Punxsutawney Phil emerges from underground. If he sees his shadow, he goes back into hiding, and we get 6 more weeks of winter. If not, spring arrives early. In the movie, Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, is trapped in a time loop, where he is forced to relive the same day, waking up to “I Got You Babe” on the radio every morning. It is only when he changes his ways by embracing the day and continuously seeking to better himself that he is able to escape.
Starting a medical practice and running a business is hard work, but we had momentum. Our patient volumes and revenue more than doubled in 2019, while our expenses stayed relatively stable. We were profitable for the last 6 months, but any volatility in revenue or expense could upset the applecart. And then it happened: we encountered one such jolt, the details of which I cannot mention on advice of counsel. We did not renew our lease when it ended on February 1, so I was forced to make a difficult decision: either continue what I was doing at a different location, or join an existing practice. There is a paucity of high-quality, affordable medical office space near my main office, particularly on short notice, so I would have been forced to operate out of my Round Rock and Lakeway locations. However, I did not want to risk losing those patients who lived or worked near my main office, because given an unexpected rise in expenses, any further drop in revenue could have been catastrophic.
So, like the 2 Phils on Groundhog Day, I made a choice. I did not get scared of my shadow and go back to doing what I was doing. Instead, I took this opportunity to re-evaluate what was important to me and see if I could improve my situation. I will be joining a well-established practice that firmly believes in a holistic approach to their patients’ care. I know it will be different than how I’ve practiced, and I will have to sacrifice a fair amount of autonomy. But in the end, I firmly believe that Dr. Sandeep Mistry and his entire team at NAU Urology Specialists share my vision “to be known and valued for excellence and innovation in patient care, and to be most trusted for personalized, transparent, coordinated care.”
When I wake up on Monday, February 10, I will go to a new office, with mostly new employees. I will surely miss being king of my little office, and most of all working with Stacey and Benny, but I know great things lie ahead. I hope to find a way to continue my blog posts, but I will also have access to even more media outlets, including a radio show that airs on weekends. So, stay tuned, because a new song will soon be playing on the radio. Spring is coming, because this “Phil” is here to stay!
If you are dealing with some degree of urinary incontinence, you're not alone as this is a common issue. At Greater Austin Urology in Austin, TX, Dr. Lucas Jacomides helps patients successfully cope with their urinary incontinence symptoms so they feel better and have more active lifestyles.
Why Urinary Incontinence occurs
There are a variety of causes. Some urinary incontinence is age-related. For women, menopause weakens the pelvic floor muscles that provide support for the bladder, uterus, and vagina. This reduced support can lead to stress incontinence with lifting, sneezing, coughing, and even laughing.
Overactive bladder, or OAB, affects both men and women. People with this nerve-related urological condition have frequent episodes of urgency and constantly scope out public venues for the nearest restrooms. Also, they wake several times a night needing to urinate.
Some lifestyle habits contribute to urinary incontinence and urgency. These habits include:
- Poor control of body weight
- Excessive alcohol and caffeine intake
- Certain prescription medications
Treating urinary incontinence
Dr. Jacomides knows that urinary incontinence is a private and sensitive issue. However, he assures his patients that incontinence is manageable.
A common strategy is a program of easy Kegel exercises. Performed in the privacy of your own home three times a day, Kegel exercises involve simple contraction and relaxation of pelvic floor muscles. Over time, the muscles become stronger and give better support to the bladder.
Other interventions include:
- Diet management
- Treatment of UTIs with antibiotics
- Pelvic floor exercises
Find out more
If you are dealing with urinary incontinence, the professional team at Greater Austin Urology in Austin, TX can help. Call today for a consultation with Dr. Jacomides: (512) 540-3937.
As another year draws to a close, I usually like to pause and reflect on the past. We have endured minor nuisances and major existential threats to the practice, but overall it has been a pretty good year. I was picked as an Austin “Top Doctor” for the 4th consecutive year, patient volume and revenue are at all-time highs, and we opened a 3rd office and are about to open a 4th.
But this year is different, because it is also the end of a decade. A lot has happened in the past 10 years, some good, some bad. Rather than dwell on the past, this time I want to focus on the future, starting with 2020. It is a number that we have all been taught from an early age to associate with perfect vision. However, the future of healthcare is uncertain, especially for us solo practitioners. With healthcare costs skyrocketing, are we really all destined to be hospital employees, under some flawed pay-for-performance model that may exacerbate physician shortages and may raise costs even higher? Or will fee-for-service still be around, where there is still an incentive to see patients while running an efficient cost-conscious practice? The answer is no one really knows, so rather than guess what the future will hold, I turn to the Vision Statement of Greater Austin Urology:
“Our vision is to be known and valued for excellence and innovation in patient care, and to be most trusted for personalized, transparent, coordinated care.”
We want people to know us and value us for how we care for patients. We want to be innovative and to be trusted, but above all, we want the experience to be personalized and fully transparent. I like to think that we try to adhere to those standards every day, and whether I stay solo, hire more providers, go to work with someone else, or join a big hospital system, I intend to keep it that way.
Happy New Year, everybody, and best wishes for continued health and prosperity in the decade to come!
Men who are age 40 and older have a special health concern: prostate health. At Greater Austin Urology, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer ranks high on Dr. Lucas Jacomides' list of specialties. Learn more about its symptoms and treatments.
What is the prostate?
A man's prostate is the walnut-shaped gland located beneath the urinary bladder and above the rectum. With advancing age, the prostate typically enlarges, causing a condition called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.
Details on prostate cancer
The prostate is the site of the second most common male cancer. Only skin cancer outranks prostate cancer in incidence, reports the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society elaborates that prostate cancer affects one man out of nine, but caught in its earliest stages, it is highly treatable.
Signs and treatments
Some men exhibit no symptoms of their prostate cancer. However, more typically, these signs and symptoms happen early on in the course of the illness:
- Pain upon urination
- Difficulty urinating (dribbling, incontinence, weak urine stream which starts and stops)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Blood in urine and/or semen
- Pain in the bones of the lower back, hip and leg
- Pain with ejaculation
The American Urological Association recommends yearly screening for prostate cancer with a test called PSA, or Prostate-Specific Antigen. Combined with a DRE, or digital rectal examination, this easy assessment tool accurately pinpoints the presence of prostate cancer as it develops, allowing for the best possible path of treatment and recovery.
When detected, prostate cancer may be treated with any one or a combination of the following strategies:
- HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound)
- Hormone therapy
Dr. Jacomides works closely with his prostate cancer patients to arrive at care plans geared toward their specific cancers, age and overall medical health.
Find out more
When it comes to prostate health, remember, it's what you don't know that can hurt you most. So, Dr. Jacomides and the entire team at Greater Austin Urology urge men 50 and older to get their routine screening examinations. Call the office today for your appointment at our Austin office: (512) 540-3937.
Could those frequent nighttime bathroom trips be caused by prostate enlargement?
As men get older, it’s actually quite common for many of them to deal with prostate enlargement (also referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or simply BPH). In fact, this condition affects more than 27 million US men over the age of 50. If left untreated, this can lead to bladder stones, infections and even renal failure. Therefore, if you are noticing changes in urination it’s important that you turn to our Austin, TX, urologist Dr. Lucas Jacomides for care.
What are the signs and symptoms of prostate enlargement?
An enlarged prostate can also put pressure on the urethra, causing a number of urinary issues including:
- Frequent urination throughout the day (or at night)
- Sudden urge to urinate
- Pain with urination
- Weak or delayed urine flow
- Trouble urinating
- Feeling as if the bladder isn’t fully empty after urinating
There is also a simple symptom quiz that you can take to figure out whether or not you should visit a urology doctor in Austin, TX. If you are a man over the age of 50, these symptoms could very well be due to prostate enlargement.
How is BPH diagnosed?
Our urologist will ask you a series of questions about the type and severity of the symptoms you are experiencing before determining the best test or tests to perform that will provide the most accurate diagnosis. Some of these diagnostic tests include:
- Urine flow test
- Digital rectal exam
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test
- Transrectal ultrasound
- Prostate MRI
- Flexible cystoscopy
How is prostate enlargement treated?
If symptoms are mild then no treatment may be necessary; however, early intervention is usually key to prevent complications such as urinary tract infections or bladder damage. The first course of action is prescribing a daily medication.
There are several kinds of medications that have been FDA approved to alleviate symptoms associated with prostate enlargement and improve urine flow. If medication doesn’t provide the patient with the relief they need then our urologist may recommend Endoscopic surgery to remove obstructing prostate tissue. There are several surgical techniques used to remove excess tissue and to improve urinary issues caused by BPH.
If you are an older man who is dealing with frequent urination or other urological issues in Austin, TX, you could be dealing with prostate enlargement. Call Greater Austin Urology today to schedule an appointment today.
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