Patient Overcomes Prostate Cancer, Credits Dr. Sharpe

Urologist meets with patient overcomes prostate cancer

After surviving a trio of brain surgeries to remove a tumor, Victor Bedzyk, a retired electrical engineer, would face yet another health challenge: prostate cancer.

In late 2016, Bedzyk received the news from Dr. Brent Sharpe. With Bedzyk’s prostate-specific antigen (PSA) numbers on the rise, Dr. Sharpe suggested a prostate biopsy. The test came back positive for cancer.

Although Dr. Sharpe believed the cancer was contained to the prostate, he found evidence of the disease on the borders of the organ. The physician suggested several options, including prostate removal.

“I researched all of the options,” Bedzyk said, “but a prostatectomy made the most sense to me. There’s no point of doing something that might come back on you like a boomerang.”

Using the da Vinci Surgical System, an advanced form of robotic surgical equipment, Dr. Sharpe performed the minimally-invasive procedure from a console with joystick-like controls. The machine translated the surgeon’s movements into smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments inside Bedzyk’s body.

According to Dr. Sharpe, this was the first time a patient was discharged the same day following a prostatectomy in Georgia. Today, Dr. Sharpe said Georgia Urology is the only practice in the state offering a same-day discharge prostatectomy.

Although he faced a challenging recuperation period, Bedzyk remained confident he chose wisely. And Dr. Sharpe soon provided confirmation. Once the prostate was removed, a full biopsy revealed more cancer than was previously discovered.

“Even though you have to go through recovery and side effects, you have your life ahead of you,” said Bedzyk, who credits his resilience to a strong faith, a supportive family, and a positive attitude.

Dr. Sharpe’s skill and professional aptitude bolstered Bedzyk’s confidence in his physician and resulted in an ongoing doctor-patient relationship.

“He’s brilliant,” said Bedzyk. “Dr. Sharpe’s brain comprehends so much, so quickly. He gets to the core issues and sees what needs to be done. … He tries to stay on the frontline of his field and aware of all the things he can do. …I’m grateful for that.”

Today Bedzyk said he savors life, from spending time with his wife and grandchildren to building a boat in his home workshop. Cancer remains undetectable, and Bedzyk continues having his PSA checked regularly. He encourages other men to be diligent, too.

“You can’t get tested too early,” Bedzyk said. “At age 52, my brother found out he had stage IV prostate cancer. And a lot of people don’t start checking until they’re in their 60s or late 50s. …Prostate cancer is a danger, for sure. So I always recommend men keep a urologist among their roster of physicians.”

If you are facing a prostate cancer diagnosis, click here to get in touch with our expert urology team.

An Expert Pediatric Urologist Discusses Undescended Testis

People visiting urologist to check out undescended testis.

By Wolfgang Cerwinka, M.D.

A testicle outside its normal location in the scrotal sac is called an undescended testis. Undescended testes are relatively common and are found in 1 of 100 boys. This condition may be regarded as a failure of a testicle to descend into the scrotal sac, which normally occurs before birth.

Keep reading to learn more about this urological condition.

Who Is Likely to Get Undescended Testis?

Undescended testes are therefore more commonly found in prematurely-born boys. Studies have shown that undescended testes may descend spontaneously during the first 6 months of life only. Boys with undescended testes born early should be given extra time for spontaneous descent. The longer a testes remains undescended the higher the likelihood of damage (less sperm production) and testicular cancer.

Surgery for Undescended Testis

These are the two main reasons why boys should undergo surgery between 6 and 12 months of life. Although surgery for undescended testes, called orchiopexy, is one of the most common surgeries in pediatric urology, we rarely encounter the consequences (infertility, testicular cancer) because these are conditions typically occurring during adult life.

Undescended Testis at Georgia Urology

However, the reason for me to write this blog is a recent patient encounter that reinforced for me the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment of an undescended testis. An 18-year old male presented for a life-long history of an undescended testis; in fact, the right testis was never able to be felt on physical exam (non-palpable testis).

There are several reasons for a testicle to be non-palpable, one of them being the testicle is located inside the abdomen. No imaging study such as ultrasound or MRI is accurate enough to visualize an undescended testis. Instead, the recommended management is to perform a procedure where a small camera is introduced into the abdomen (diagnostic laparoscopy) to firstly identify a testicle if present and secondly to move the testicle into the scrotal sac.

During his procedure, a small testicle was seen inside the abdomen and, anticipating poor function, removed. A pathology report was issued a few days after surgery and showed that most of the removed testicle was occupied with seminoma, a malignant type of testicular cancer. Fortunately, for the patient, the testicular cancer was confined to the testicle, and the patient elected to be managed with future imaging studies only, no chemotherapy, no radiation treatment. Imagine if no surgery had been performed and cancer had grown and spread unnoticed inside the abdomen.

If you have any more questions about undescended testis, contact the experts at Georgia Urology.

Georgia Urology Staffer Works to Bring Warmth to Homeless Atlantans

Plunging temperatures mean cold nights for many of Atlanta’s homeless. Often it takes the warm hearts of others to help provide comfort for those less fortunate.

Collecting and distributing blankets, coats, and other clothing for the needy is now a top priority for Food of Faith, a grassroots group of volunteers organized by Georgia Urology patient coordinator, Tricia Newman.

For more than a decade, Newman has been spearheading Food of Faith, providing meals and supplies to Atlanta’s homeless community. Approximately two to four times per month, Newman and others take to the streets, distributing food –most of it prepared by Newman herself– directly to those in need.

In the midst of rapidly changing weather, Food of Faith continued its coat drive, accepting gently used clothing and blanket donations through November 20.

“For someone who’s living outdoors, a coat or a blanket can be invaluable,” said Newman.

Food of Faith distributed donated items 10:30 a.m.-Noon, Nov. 21 at the Lutheran Community Food Ministry located at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 731 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta in Midtown.

In addition, Newman and company partnered with My Sister’s House and the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. Food of Faith provided both facilities with donated workplace attire ­–think blouses, shoes, skirts, and pants– for women seeking employment.

“There are more than 2 million homeless Americans out there,” Newman said. “Many of them just need a little bit of help. They can eventually get back out there and work. It can be done. I know I’m not just naïve. I’ve seen it happen, and I’ve seen people’s lives changed just because of one or two individuals who care enough to help.”

Check out the photos from the event below.

Dr. Lewis Kriteman is featured on Fox 5 news with prostate cancer patient

Georgia Urology’s Dr. Lewis Kriteman was recently featured on Atlanta’s Fox 5 news discussing a patient success story involving prostate cancer.

Jack Francisco was diagnosed in the summer of 2010, while Jack’s wife, Lee, was in the midst of recuperating from her second breast cancer surgery. Jack was then referred to Dr. Kriteman who soon performed a biopsy. Together, the two formed the best plan to get Jack back to focusing on helping his wife.

During the segment, Dr. Kriteman states, “In the biopsy, we found cancer, and we found quite a bit of cancer in his prostate. Once we had that diagnosis, we sat down and had a long conversation about what the treatment options were.”

Click here to read the full Fox 5 article.

Georgia Urology physicians use innovative technology to hunt down and treat bladder cancers

Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview improves fight against bladder cancer

Physicians with Georgia Urology, the largest urology practice in the Southeast, are among a select number of medical professionals nationwide using Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview. This assists in detecting papillary cancer of the bladder in patients with known or suspected bladder cancer. Cysview is the only FDA-approved imaging agent for use with blue-light cystoscopy.

Georgia Urology physicians are currently using Blue Light Cystocopy with Cysview at Northside Hospital Forsyth in Cumming, one of only three sites in the state offering this state-of-the-art technology.

“Blue Light Cystocopy with Cysview is a game changer,” said Dr. Adam Mellis of Georgia Urology. “It is rapidly becoming the standard of care for patients with bladder tumors.”

Bladder cancer is the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S. The American Cancer Society estimates that 72,570 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed each year. Between 50 to 80 percent of patients will have their bladder cancer recur, making it the highest recurrence rate of any form of cancer.

Early detection is key. To remove cancerous tissue, surgeons perform a procedure known as the transurethral resection of the bladder tumor (TURBT). During the procedure, doctors typically use white-light cystoscopy to spot suspicious lesions. However, when physicians use white-light cystoscopy alone, they can potentially miss harder-to-see tumors.

Adding Blue Light Cystocopy with Cysview to the TURBT process allows more elusive tumors that may be present to become more visible. It causes the tumors to stand out against normal bladder tissue, making it easier for the doctor to identify and remove them.

“I am such an advocate for it because it provides so many benefits for my patients,” Dr. Mellis explained. “It has the potential to catch cancers that may have been missed otherwise using standard white-light cystoscopy. This, in turn, may lead to better outcomes for patients.”

Georgia Urology is the largest urology practice in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. Georgia Urology has more than 30 locations and six ambulatory surgery centers. The practice is comprised of more than 40 physicians, many of whom are fellowship-trained and hold advanced specialty training in oncology, robotic surgery, laparoscopy, infertility, incontinence and pediatrics. Georgia Urology physicians use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and advanced treatment techniques, including robot-assisted technology and minimally-invasive procedures, in order to manage all urological problems in men, women, and children. It is the practice’s mission to inform and partner with patients to develop a personalized, compassionate, and comprehensive treatment plan for all of their urological conditions.

About Blue-Light Cystoscopy with Cysview: Physicians deliver the imaging solution (Cysview) into the bladder about an hour prior to the cystoscopy and is absorbed by cancerous tissue. The doctor inserts a long thin tube into the bladder. After first using white light, the doctor switch to blue light mode. The preferential uptake of Cysview by malignant cells causes other hard-to-see tumors that may be present become more visible. Cysview is for use in the cystoscopic detection of non-muscle invasive papillary cancer of the bladder among patients suspected or known to have lesion(s) on the basis of a prior cystoscopy. Cysview is used with the Karl Storz D-Light C Photodynamic Diagnostic (PDD) system to perform cystoscopy with the blue light setting as an adjunct to the white light setting.

Georgia Urology Proudly Sponsored the 2018 F.A.S.T. PACE RACE

Georgia Urology was incredibly proud to sponsor the F.A.S.T. PACE RACE for the 10th year in a row, all in the effort to raise awareness for prostate cancer!

The F.A.S.T. PACE RACE was presented by the Forsyth Area Striders Team (F.A.S.T) and the Prostate Condition Education Council (PCEC). The proceeds of their half marathon, 5k, 10k, and 1m courses promoted awareness and provided education regarding the importance of screening and early detection. Georgia Urology was also excited to offer free PSA screenings and prostate exams from our expert team as a part of our outreach for the race. We’re proud to say a total of 41 men took part in this service.

The number one way to prevent prostate cancer is by staying proactive in yearly exams. One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and 26,730 men will die from prostate cancer this year alone. It’s one of the leading causes of death in men, claiming the lives of every 1 in 39 men. With this in mind, the Georgia Urology team works hard, inside the doctors’ offices and out, to lower the number of lives affected by prostate cancer.

This year’s race happened on October 27th, 2018 at the Cumming Fairgrounds starting at 8:00 AM. Special guest Steve Scott was this year’s 2018 spokesperson. Steve is a 3-time Olympian who broke many middle-distance records in his career. He held the outdoor Mile record for 26 years and the indoor for 24 years. Steve ran an astounding 137 times at a sub-4 minute mile pace. Steve still runs and ran the Fast Pace 5k.

As well, many of our employees participated in this year’s race. Check out the photos from this year’s event!

Georgia Urology’s Midtown Atlanta office moves to new location

Drs. Falconer, Harrison, Blum, Sherlag, and Zisholtz now seeing patients, offering best-in-class care at convenient, intown locale

New and current patients of Georgia Urology, the largest urology practice in the Southeast, can now visit the new Midtown location, conveniently located in the recently opened Northside Midtown Medical building. Those in need of a urology specialist can choose in confidence from a group of board-certified physicians offering state-of-the-art comprehensive urological care for adults and pediatrics.

The office recently relocated to a 2,500 square-foot space at 1110 West Peachtree St. N.W., Suite 1020 with easy access from Interstates 75 and 85, and the North Avenue MARTA rail station. Atlanta’s Midtown district lays claim to the city’s premier green space (Piedmont Park), historic neighborhoods and area landmarks, and the largest conglomeration of art and cultural institutions in the Southeast.

“Midtown Atlanta remains an epicenter for life and business.” said Georgia Urology CEO, Jason Shelnutt, “In the midst of the big city bustle, one’s urological health can fall by the wayside. We’re privileged to continue offering our best-in-class care to the area with convenience and accessibility.”

A trio of Georgia Urology physicians practice at the Midtown office. Dr. Walter Falconer has an expertise in men’s health and urologic cancers; Dr. Emerson Harrison specializes in men’s and women’s health, and urologic cancers; and Dr. Emily Blum focuses on pediatric urology. On November 1, Dr. Paul Sherlag and Dr. Barry Zisholtz ­–both with expertise in men’s health, urologic cancers, and kidney stones– will begin practicing at the Midtown location.

In addition to general urological care, the doctors at Georgia Urology’s Midtown office offer specialized treatment options for symptoms and issues such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, elevated PSA, prostate cancer, kidney stones, men’s sexual and reproductive health, and overactive bladder. The Georgia Urology staff uses certified language translation services at all of its locations.

Appointments can be made by calling 404-222-0292. Office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Learn more at gaurology.com.

Georgia Urology is the largest urology practice in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. Georgia Urology has more than 30 locations and six ambulatory surgery centers. The practice is comprised of more than 40 physicians, many of whom are fellowship-trained and hold advanced specialty training in oncology, robotic surgery, laparoscopy, infertility, incontinence, and pediatrics. Georgia Urology physicians use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and advanced treatment techniques, including robot-assisted technology and minimally-invasive procedures, in order to manage all urological problems in men, women, and children. It is the practice’s mission to inform and partner with patients to develop a personalized, compassionate, and comprehensive treatment plan for all of their urological conditions.

WSB sportscaster Chuck Dowdle delivers important prostate cancer message on behalf of Georgia Urology

Georgia Urology is pleased to announce a partnership with WSB’s sportscaster Chuck Dowdle, as an addition to our fall prostate cancer awareness campaign. Dowdle speaks on prostate cancer statistics and on the importance of prostate cancer screenings in the spots airing on WSB this fall.

Check out the spot below, and look for them airing on WSB this month!

Dr. Rosenfeld and Physician Assistant Tansy Ridings appear on “The Weekly Check-Up” on WSB Radio

On Sunday, September 8th, Georgia Urology’s Dr. Joel Rosenfeld and Physician Assistant, Tansy Ridings were featured on “The Weekly Check-Up Atlanta”.

During the segment, Dr. Rosenfeld and Tansy Ridings discussed with host Dr. Bruce Feinberg the high demand for advanced practice providers. Both stated this need is changing the face of clinical practices and drastically transforming the relationship between the patients and the physicians. Dr. Rosenfeld first discovered the need for practice providers early on in his career and decided to volunteer lecture at Mercer University to draw students to urology.

Dr. Rosenfeld and Tansy also explored the dynamics of their partnership at the practice and how they handle the responsibilities of managing patients. The two, who work together at our Austell, Canton, and Jasper locations, specialize in robotic surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and urinary tract reconstruction surgery. They disclosed details of their work structure that includes alternating back and forth between patient visits, the process they follow when a new patient comes in with elevated PSA levels, and how they work together to serve their patients in a timely manner.

If you missed the show, click here to listen.

Georgia Urology Donates Ultrasound Machines to Medical Mission Trip to Haiti

Randy Moore of Lawrenceville had a problem. In April, just a month before embarking on a medical mission trip to Haiti, he needed a pair of ultrasound machines to send abroad.

Moore, a home infusion nurse who’s taken more than 100 mission trips to Haiti, knows the great need for the equipment in that country. According to the CIA World Factbook, Haiti has the highest infant mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere. In 2017, there were nearly 47 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births in Haiti.

“Haiti has such profound poverty, you can’t imagine it unless you’ve see it,” said Moore. “Well over 50 percent of the people in that country wake up each day not knowing if they’re going to have anything to eat. That contributes to infant mortality, too.”

Moore reached out to longtime friend Jason Shelnutt, CEO of Georgia Urology, asking if the practice had any extra ultrasound machines. Moore was in luck.

“Jason sent me a text saying that he found two machines in the Georgia Urology warehouse that we were welcome to have,” Moore recalled.

Working directly with the Sarepta International Foundation, a Haitian non-profit, Moore helps improve resources and train staff at the 42-bed Cap Haitien Hospital in Cap Haitien and Clinic Saint Bertin in the remote village of Tibouk. He knew having ultrasounds at these locations would be a game changer.

“Anything we can do to identify a complication prior to delivery is huge,” said Moore. “These ultrasounds will allow that.”

Moore made his first trip to Haiti in 2009 when he joined a group of friends as part of a medical mission team. He said he instantly fell in love with the country and began making repeat trips.

He typically escorts surgical and medical teams, and trains Haitian hospital staff and clinicians how to perform tasks in order to become self sufficient. “My mantra has always been I want to help Haitians help Haitians,” Moore explained. “The goal is for these hospitals and clinics to become completely independent.”

After the installation and implementation of the Georgia Urology ultrasound machines in Haiti, Moore will be one step closer to his goal. In the future, he hopes to organize a medical mission team made up of Georgia Urology physicians to help train Haitian doctors.

“Mother Theresa once said, ‘Sometimes our efforts feel like a drop in the ocean, but what would that ocean be like without the drop?,’” Moore explained. “Sometimes you feel like that working with Haiti. There’s every problem you could imagine, whether it’s corruption, poverty or poor education. But thanks to Georgia Urology, these two ultrasounds will make a big difference in a lot of people’s lives.”