Helping Patients Approach Taboo Topics

By Amy Geiszler-Jones
Thursday, December 21, 2017

Intimate conditions such as an overactive bladder, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction can often be intimidating and even embarrassing for patients to bring up with their doctors.

Philippe Nabbout, MD

“They are still sort of taboo topics, and patients are reluctant to talk about them because often they think there are no options, but there are,” says Philippe Nabbout, MD, a urologist who recently joined the Wichita Urology Group and sees patients in Wichita and Newton. “Some things you have to just specifically ask the patient about. We all need to, me included, be proactive about helping our patients know there are options to [treat] these conditions.”

Recently, for example, he saw a patient who had remained silent and worn adult diapers for more than a decade. She didn’t realize advancements had been made that could help her with that uncomfortable situation. Newer treatments include using Botox or InterStim therapy, which involves implanting a small neurotransmitter that sends pulses to the sacral nerves that help with urinary control.

Dr. Nabbout is also an advocate of talking with men, especially African-American men, about the importance of prostate cancer screening. Statistics and studies show that African-American men are at higher risk than Caucasians and Hispanic males.

“This is a disease that if caught early can be treated successfully,” Dr. Nabbout says — again, because of the advances in technology and treatment. For example, he uses MRI/ultrasound fusion biopsy to help determine a diagnosis for men with an elevated PSA level and a negative traditional biopsy. The fusion biopsy blends the images from both the MRI and ultrasound screenings and allows him to target a specific lesion for testing.

Patients are referred to him for hematuria, kidney stones, recurrent urinary tract infections and all sorts of genitourinary cancers. He also treats several other conditions as well, including male benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Whereas previous surgical options for BPH included higher risks, wearing a catheter during recovery and possible loss of sexual function, current surgical options don’t require a catheter and can preserve ejaculation, Dr. Nabbout says.

After earning his medical degree and laparoscopic surgery diploma from Saint Joseph University School of Medicine, in Beirut, Dr. Nabbout completed his residency and a fellowship in endourology and robotic surgery at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Joining the Wichita Urology Group provided him and his wife with the opportunity to raise their young family in the Midwest and also be close to some family, Dr. Nabbout says. Two of Dr. Nabbout’s cousins are also medical doctors, one an oncologist and the other a pediatric neurologist, in Wichita.

Wichita Urology Group consists of nine board-certified/eligible physicians who are all members of the American Urological Association. The practice, headquartered at 2626 N. Webb Road in Wichita, provides patients with the opportunity to participate in clinical research trials as well.