Prostatitis Specialist Treats Patients at Temple
When it comes to prostatitis, the cliché that men avoid going to the doctor doesn't always hold true. In fact, it's common for men with this sometimes puzzling disorder to visit multiple doctors searching for help, according to Michel Pontari, MD, Vice Chair of Urology at Temple University Hospital and prostatitis specialist.
Prostatitis is a swelling and inflammation of the prostate, the walnut-sized gland located directly below the bladder in men. Symptoms can include painful or difficult urination, and pain in the groin, pelvic area or genitals. In some men, prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection and can be treated with antibiotics. In many cases, however, the cause cannot be determined.
"About seven to 10 percent of men have prostatitis-like symptoms at some point in their life and there are about two million office visits a year for this problem," says Dr. Pontari. "It can be a puzzling disorder and, because of that, one that many doctors don't feel comfortable treating," he adds. "Often I'm the third or fourth doctor that a man has visited."
At Temple, Dr. Pontari sees hundreds of prostatitis patients each year and often brings in specialists from other fields to consult on cases, including GI, neurology, endocrinology and physical therapy, among others. "The patients I see often have multiple medical issues that may or may not be related to prostatitis," says Dr. Pontari. "These can include herniated discs, low testosterone, thyroid abnormalities or nerve problems. Before we treat someone, we want to make sure there are no other obvious causes of the symptoms."
The most common, but least understood, form of prostatitis is chronic prostatitis, often called chronic pelvic pain syndrome. It can occur in men of any age and its symptoms can go away and return without warning. Common treatments for chronic prostatitis include antibiotics, alpha blockers, anti-inflammatories and pelvic floor physical therapy.
Since first becoming interested in prostatitis, Dr. Pontari says that he has seen a number of advances in its diagnosis and treatment. "The good news is we know a lot more than we did 15 years ago about this disorder," he says. "In the majority of cases, I am able to help relieve the pain in men who seek me out."
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a Temple urologist, call 1-800-TEMPLE-MED (1-800-836-7536).
Date Published: Tuesday, June 05, 2012
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