Total Care: SLUCare Men's Health Center
Low testosterone, erectile dysfunction and prostate disease are some of the most sensitive health conditions men can experience. But a solution can be found for these and other issues through honest dialogue with a knowledgeable physician, says urologist Dr. Clay McDonough of the SLUCare Men’s Health Center in Richmond Heights. The center’s purpose is to help men stay healthy and enjoy a high quality of life — and open communication is at the heart of that effort.
McDonough says the center, conveniently located in the University Tower office building, is fully equipped to treat men’s health issues in a way that is forthright and compassionate. He and fellow SLUCare urologists also perform surgery at SSM Health St. Mary’s and Saint Louis University hospitals. “We have the backing of a major health system and provide a complete spectrum of care,” he notes. The center’s physicians are uniquely accessible; unlike many specialist practices, a referral from a primary physician is not necessary. The patient can simply call and schedule a visit. According to McDonough, men appreciate the fact that they don’t have to sit through multiple appointments and discuss personal issues with different providers.
We reassure patients that there is no need to feel embarrassed, and we do that by keeping the discussion open and honest.”SLUCare Reconstructive Urologist Dr. Clay McDonough
Removing obstacles to care can go a long way toward better health, he adds. “Some men go immediately to a doctor when they have a problem, but others may delay treatment for a sensitive condition like erectile dysfunction,” McDonough says. “We reassure patients that there is no need to feel embarrassed, and we do that by keeping the discussion open and honest.” Doctors carefully discuss health history, lifestyle, symptoms and patients’ concerns among other issues and arrive at a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment plan.
SLUCare endocrinologist Dr. Sandeep Dhindsa says low testosterone is another common condition among male patients. It can cause sexual dysfunction, decreased desire and low energy, and a number of factors can feed into it. “Before we start treatment for low-T, we need to understand why it’s happening,” he explains. “Aging, obesity and type 2 diabetes can play a role.”
Dhindsa says SLUCare doctors work with patients to fully understand each treatment or surgery plan and dispel any misconceptions. “Some men try testosterone replacement therapy for a few months, think it isn’t working and want to give up,” he notes. “We explain why it takes time for the benefits to be realized. Whatever the condition, we keep the patient involved in his own health care decisions. For example, there are different ways of delivering testosterone therapy; we work together to choose one that fits his lifestyle.”
McDonough says SLUCare physicians are committed to sharing the benefits of the latest medical thinking with patients. “It’s easy to view our health in terms of separate conditions, but we look at it from a whole-person perspective,” he says. “For example, a prostate problem may not involve just the prostate. There may be neurological or cardiovascular issues, too. When we design a treatment plan, we look at what is going on elsewhere in the body, and that helps us provide complete care.”
SLUCare Physician Group and the SLUCare Men’s Health Center offer a complete range of services for patients with issues like low testosterone, erectile dysfunction and prostate conditions. For more information, call 314-977-6051 or visit slucare.edu/menshealth.
By: Julia M. Johnson