LEXINGTON — Discussing bladder, prostate and kidney issues can leave some red in the face, but urologist Dr. Kenneth McCalla makes it his business to answer people’s questions and find solutions for issues some people would keep quiet about.
McCalla is the new visiting urologist at Lexington Regional Heath Center and was the presenter at the June Wellness Connection which focused on Men’s Health Month.
He retired from full time practice last year but now visits LRHC one day every two weeks.
The large amount of work which occupies McCalla centers on different types of cancers including prostate, penile, testicular and bladder.
“All men, if they live long enough, will develop prostate cancer,” said McCalla, “Blood tests can be used to help detect this cancer, those which are very aggressive need to be removal. Radiation or physical removal is the only treatment.”
The prostate will grow throughout a man’s life, McCalla said, it is a reproductive organ. “Once you are done having kids it just becomes a pain,” he said.
McCalla said there are new ways to help treat the prostate as it becomes larger in later life. Staples can be used to help keep it from interrupting regular body functions, he said.
When asked about vasectomies, McCalla said most primary care doctors can handle the procedure, but he as a urologist is called upon if there could be complications.
McCalla also helps to treat women and one common issue he finds is kidney stones. “Most women say they would rather have a baby again than another kidney stone,” he said.
The easiest way to avoid kidney stones is to stay hydrated, McCalla said. A half glass of water an hour is recommended to help avoid the pain of a kidney stone. For those who are older he said at least three liters of water a day may be necessary. He said this may be difficult for some, especially those in nursing homes but they should try to hydrate themselves the best they can.
Treating a kidney stone has gotten more sophisticated thanks to new technology. McCalla said there are new cameras which can be used to see inside the kidney and lasers which are used to help break up kidney stones in order to pull out the fragments. “The technology has really improved over the years,” he said.
Female inconstancy later in life is down to two issues. One is an overactive bladder, he said there is medications which can help this, and Botox treatments every six months help to paralyze the muscles and relax the bladder.
The other reason is stress incontance, he said this is a body mechanic issue which can be solved by Kegal exercises or a female sling.
When asked about urinary tract infections, McCalla said doctors are trying to avoid throwing more and more antibiotics at people, but instead trying to find out if it is not a simple hydration issue.
Sometimes UTI’s are attributed to bacteria growing in the bladder, this doesn’t always have to be treated, saying this is sometimes just a colonization of bacteria. McCalla used the example of e coli growing in the colon as being normal and necessary for normal body function.
Blood in the urine can be a sign of a serious issue, McCalla said and tests are done to determine this. Sometimes this symptom can be attributed to a condition known as benign hematuria, which means red blood cells find their way into the urinary tract. Urologist will test for serious issues before considering this condition, he said.
McCalla said he is available to visit with people by appointment and those needing his services can call the LRHC.