Whether you want a comprehensive men’s health assessment or to investigate a specific issue relating to anything from prostate problems to erectile dysfunction, fertility to cancer screening, the chance to get checked out without delay can not only provide peace of mind, but make treatment and recovery as swift as possible.
With more people opting for private healthcare post-pandemic, encouraged by minimum waiting lists, SoGlos spoke to the experts at Nuffield Health Cheltenham Hospital’s urology department to find out what prospective patients can expect if they decide to take this route.
About the expert – Nuffield Health Cheltenham Hospital urology department
Nuffield Health’s private hospital in Cheltenham promises first class treatment with minimum waiting lists.
Offering everything from health assessments to surgery in state-of-the-art clinical facilities, as well as the latest diagnostic imaging facilities including on-site MRI and CT scanning, areas of specialty include orthopaedics, cosmetic surgery, spinal services, sports injury, ENT, gynaecology and urology.
For more information, visit nuffieldhealth.com.
How often should men be checking themselves for testicular cancer, what’s the right way to do it and what should they look out for?
Ideally, men should check themselves for symptoms every couple of weeks, to every month. We advise patients to check when the testicles are fairly low sitting and easier to feel – after a warm bath or shower is a good idea.
Compare one side to the other and look for changes, irregularity, lumps and bumps. It is important to remember that many of these ‘abnormalities’ are not worrying, but it is safest to have them checked out by a medical professional. Our urology experts can do this for you.
How common are prostate problems? What symptoms would suggest an issue and what treatments are available?
Prostate problems are extremely common, especially as men get older.
Among the most common issues are urinary symptoms due to an enlarged prostate – difficulty passing urine, poor flow, urgency to pee and getting up more than normal during the night to go to the toilet, for example.
Many men will develop urinary symptoms as they get older, usually due to an age-related enlargement in the size of the prostate.
An enlarging prostate can constrict the pipe that flows through it, causing the urinary symptoms, although having these symptoms does not always mean prostate cancer, which is why it is always best to see a urology consultant for reassurance.
The second prostate problem we are seeing more frequently is prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is now one of the most common cancers diagnosed in men. It tends to get more common with age, but over the last few years, we have been seeing increasing numbers of younger men.
Certain patients, such as those who have a first degree relative with prostate cancer or patients of African or African-Caribbean descent are considered at significantly higher risk of prostate cancer.
Most men with prostate cancer do not have any symptoms and we would encourage any male who is worried about prostate cancer to speak to their GP with a view to getting blood tests and clinical examination, which of course we can do at the Nuffield Health in Cheltenham.
In addition to this, if a patient is in the high-risk group mentioned above, then we highly recommend they get checked out by a medical professional.
Early on, a lot of prostate cancer is curable. It is also important to remember that not everyone with prostate cancer requires treatment and that carefully monitoring it is a well-recognised way of managing patients with low-risk early prostate cancer.
Treatment options, if diagnosed with the disease, are varied, but can include close monitoring, surgery to remove the prostate, radiotherapy and hormone therapy.
What does a prostate exam entail?
A prostate examination is essentially a simple examination, where the urologist examines the back passage very gently, with some lubrication, in order to feel the patient’s prostate.
It takes a few seconds and isn’t painful, but can often make the patient feel as though they want to pass urine. At the Nuffield, if the patient would like a chaperone, this can also be arranged.
Do you offer screening for prostate cancer?
Although formal prostate cancer screening is not government policy in the UK, or most parts of Europe, we recommend anyone who is worried about prostate cancer – or who has significant urinary symptoms – to get checked out by a medical professional.
How is erectile dysfunction treated – can you deal with both the physical and emotional causes?
There are a whole host of causes of erectile dysfunction. Among them are medical causes, such as diabetes, pelvic surgery and high blood pressure, which can be a big risk factor.
In addition to this, patients going through a stressful period of life, including depression and anxiety, can also experience erectile dysfunction.
Our urologists are there to diagnose and treat with tablets, cream applications, injections and surgical treatments, but if emotional support is needed, you should see a psychiatrist.
How long does a vasectomy take? Is the procedure genuinely reversible?
A vasectomy is one of the most common procedures that takes place at Nuffield Health Cheltenham Hospital and takes around 30 minutes. We also carry out vasectomy reversals, but the success rates are variable.
In terms of recovery for elective surgery, is there such a thing as a good time to get booked in?
It all depends on the surgery you require, but when you book in for a consultation, your consultant will have a rough idea of when the next surgery dates are.
These timeframes can vary with each patient, but by going private, you can choose a date that suits you best, which will then allow you to recover in your own time.
Can you help with issues around male fertility?
Our urologists do not specialise in fertility, but are able to assess a male’s sperm count and perform surgery, such as vasectomy reversals, if that is what is necessary.
They can also help to diagnose and manage treatment for those having fertility issues, but it is most likely that you will be referred to a specialist fertility unit for further assessments.
How quickly can I make an appointment at Nuffield Health Cheltenham Hospital and what will an initial consultation cost me?
Waiting lists can vary, but we are likely to be able to fit you in for a consultation with one of our consultants within three weeks.
With four urologists to choose from, all profiled on nuffieldhealth.com, you can decide which consultant you would like to see.
An initial consultation costs £200-£250, but there may be extra charges for blood tests and ultrasounds.
Unless you require a vasectomy, we ask for a referral from your GP to ensure you are booked in with the correct consultant.
Once we receive the referral letter, we will be in touch to arrange an appointment. Surgery wait times can also vary, but the waiting list is currently around six to eight weeks from your consultation date.
Our bookings team is on hand to answer any queries regarding wait times, if you wanted to give them a call, on (01242) 246574.
Does The Nuffield offer a general men’s health check and if so, what’s included?
Although this is not something our urologists will do, we have a health assessment team that can provide a full health check.
See nuffieldhealth.com for further information on our 360+ Health Assessments, which are carried out in Cheltenham.
The men’s health check includes a testicular examination and guidance for self-examination, as well as a prostate cancer test for those over 50.
To book in for an examination, please contact our health assessment bookings team on 03301 624 466.
How can going private improve my experience?
With over 50 years of experience between them, our urologists have a wide range of knowledge of men’s health and are dedicated to achieving the highest quality of urological care for their patients.
We understand that waiting for an appointment can be an anxious time, which is why we cut the waiting lists and try to get our patients seen as soon as possible.
The Nuffield provide patients with a comfortable stay, including their own private rooms and bathrooms, bath robes and slippers, a TV in their room and a variety of food and drink from the menu, all of which is included in the package price.
In partnership with Nuffield Health Cheltenham Hospital | nuffieldhealth.com