Sunday, February 17th, 2019

Urology of Virginia Story


Giving back quality of life for men and women

by Rob Lauer

Jennifer Miles-Thomas, MD, FPM-RS

Jennifer Miles-Thomas, MD, FPM-RS

“Traditionally, most people think of a urologist as the equivalent of a gynecologist for men,” Jennifer Miles-Thomas, MD, FPM-RS at Urology of Virginia, explains. “After all, men usually go to a urologist when they are dealing with prostate cancer. As a young female entering medical school, I was under the same assumption. But as a student, I was required to do rotations in different areas of medicine, and when I discovered what urology actually involves, I was astounded by its sheer breadth. Not only does urology combine medicine and surgery, but it also deals with a variety of organ systems. So, yes--urologists do treat male conditions such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and erectile dysfunction; but they also treat bladder and kidney cancer, as well as non-life-threatening conditions like kidney stones. Everyone, male or female, has a bladder and kidneys.”

When asked about the leading cause of bladder and kidney cancer, Dr. Miles-Thomas points to a familiar culprit: smoking. “Think about what the bladder actually does,” she explains. “It holds urine, which is a waste product. When the body tries to cleanse itself of impurities introduced through smoking and the consumption of alcohol and other chemicals, those impurities go into the urine, which then sits in the bladder until it’s expelled. People who work with certain chemicals--such as those found in dye or paint factories--are also at risk; but many more people smoke than work in dye factories.”

Early symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in the urine. “Fortunately, we are now detecting cancers earlier, when they are much smaller and easier to successfully treat,” Dr. Miles-Thomas says. “At Urology of Virginia, in addition to the latest drugs, we’re also battling cancer using immunotherapy--a process that uses the patient’s own cells to fight the cancer.”

Unfortunately people are often reluctant to seek treatment when they detect what could be the first sign of trouble. This seems to be particularly true with men.

Dr. Miles-Thomas and her associates at Urology of Virginia
also address the age-related urological conditions experienced by women--
further proof that urology is not the male equivalent of gynecology.

According to Dr. Miles-Thomas, “Often when older men find themselves going to the bathroom a lot, or experiencing testosterone deficiency or erectile dysfunction, they rationalize the problems away, saying, ‘Oh, it’s not that bad.’ They’ll often resist going to the doctor out of fear of finding out that there’s something worse going on; but usually there isn’t. I think that embarrassment is a major factor when it comes to urological problems. Men needn’t feel this way. First and foremost, they need to recognize that there is help available. At Urology of Virginia we have a new male initiative: ‘Treating the Whole Man—Body, Mind, Spirit.’”

In addition to bringing an extensive range of advanced treatment skills to men’s health issues, the physicians and staff of Urology of Virginia consider it equally important to listen with sensitivity and empathy to men’s anxieties about physical and sexual health.

Whether a patient is being treated for  bladder, prostate or testicular cancers, incontinence, male infertility, kidney stones, urinary tract infections or vasectomy procedures, he can be assured that Urology of Virginia treatment teams will not only focus on the condition but also on his concerns, dignity and need for privacy--all the while working toward the best possible outcome.

Dr. Miles-Thomas and her associates at Urology of Virginia also address the age-related urological conditions experienced by women--further proof that urology is not the male equivalent of gynecology.

“As women age and enter menopause, the vaginal tissues change with time,” she explains. “They become drier, and are more prone to irritation, causing discomfort, even bleeding. Traditionally, these issues have never been satisfactorily addressed. Vaginal estrogen may have been prescribed, but we now know that there are serious potential risks in using estrogen. For women who have had breast cancer in the past, or who have a family history of blood clots, estrogen may increase their risks.

For years, plastic surgeons have treated aging facial skin with lasers in order to promote the formation of collagen and the growth of new tissues--which, in turn, rejuvenates the skin. Now Urology of Virginia offers diVa--a new treatment that uses the same technology to promote vaginal rejuvenation. Utilizing innovative Hybrid Fractional Laser (HFL) technology, diVa delivers two laser beams at once to the wall of the vaginal canal for a synergistic effect. The first laser deeply resurfaces the tissue layers, replacing them with improved quality tissue. The second laser heats the layers where collagen exists.

“diVA consists of a series of three treatments, each four weeks apart,” Dr. Miles-Thomas continues. “One treatment takes about five minutes, and there is no significant down time. As one of the physicians who is administering this treatment at Urology of Virginia, I can tell you from experience that it has been life-changing--I mean, life-changing--for many women. If anyone suffering with the symptoms I’ve described is interested in finding out more about diVa, all they need to do is call Urology of Virginia for a free consultation. For our part, we’ll explore the symptoms the patient has been experiencing, and we’ll review their  medical history. Also, they will need to have had a negative Pap within the past year. We want our patients to have the absolute best outcome, so we only offer diVa to patients who can benefit from the procedure.”

Whether a patient is male or female, Dr. Miles-Thomas understands that most people find it difficult to discuss their urological problems. “They’ll talk openly about other health issues, but urological issues seem too personal,” she says. “I went into this field of medicine because it is so personal and profoundly affects one’s quality of life. Because of advances in healthcare, we’re living longer lives, but we’re realizing that length of life is not the same thing as quality of life. Quality of life is what we’re trying to give back to all of our patients--men and women.”

Urology of Virginia

225 Clearfield Ave
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

(757) 457-5100