Ask the Expert: Urologist Manoj Rao - October 16, 2013

Courtesy of the Times


Dr. Manoj Rao, a leading physician at Urologic Specialists of Northwest Indiana, believes being informed about urologic health can save lives. His main office is in Merrillville at 400 West 84th drive. He also has an office in Gary at the Methodist Northlake campus. He provides care and performs surgery at the following hospitals: St. Anthony’s in Crown Point, St. Mary’s in Hobart, Community Hospital in Munster, Pinnacle Hospital in Crown Point, and Methodist Northlake and Southlake campuses.

1. How long have you been practicing in NWI? Any concerning trends growing among your patients over the last few years?

I recently began my career with the Urologic Specialists of Northwest Indiana. I have found in my time here that the people I have cared for are very kind and the hospitals at which I work to be very supportive and dedicated to patient care. One concerning issue I have noticed is patients who attribute blood in their urine to a urinary tract infection and neglect to follow up with a urologist. This is a very concerning condition and many of these patients have underlying urological diseases such as kidney stones or cancer in the bladder or other parts of the urinary tract. I encourage any patients who see blood in their urine, especially in the absence of a urinary tract infection, to seek urological care.

2. How many cases of cancer do you treat in a year? Any particular cancer showing up more often?

Throughout the year, urological cancers are also quite common. In fact nearly 40% of all cancers encountered in men are treated by urologists. Prostate cancer is far and away the most common cancer in American men and is also the leading cause of cancer mortality. Fortunately with advances in research, we have found many men are at low risk for metastatic disease and are unlikely to die from prostate cancer. Due to this, we offer alternatives to standard treatments such as active surveillance, where we can monitor PSA levels and perform repeat biopsies to monitor the cancer over time. Our group also offers Da Vinci robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery to treat urological cancers as well as benign conditions of the prostate, kidney, and urinary tract.

3. Besides kidney or urinary tract infections what other reasons can a patient come in and see you about?

I have found many patients seeking care for men’s health issues, which seem to not be talked about much in public, such as vasectomy, low testosterone, infertility or erectile dysfunction. We perform vasectomy in the office with local anesthesia and offer multiple products for testosterone replacement including longer lasting testosterone pellets. Given that in vitro fertilization is very expensive and not always covered by insurance plans, I encourage couples who are unable to conceive after one year of trying to seek urological care.

4. What are some options men have when dealing with erectile dysfunction?

For erectile dysfunction, many men are prescribed medications such as Viagra, Levitra or Cialis. Not all men are aware that other options exist for this condition. We offer treatments such as inflatable penile prostheses and other non-operative interventions for those who have a poor response to medications. The penile prosthesis surgery can be performed with a short stay in the hospital and many men and their partners find this treatment to be very favorable. I am giving seminars at Methodist Hospital’s Southlake campus to further discuss men’s health issues in more detail and those interested can contact my office for more information.

5. You completed your residency in Urology at Loyola University Medical Center and did rotations at Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Hines VA Hospital. How did these particular rotations (Children’s and Hines) help prepare you for your career?

The experience at the Hines VA Hospital is cherished by all of our residents. With appropriate supervision, we are able to provide top notch care for all urological conditions to veterans. Our VA was one of a select few in the country with the Da Vinci robot, providing the latest in technology to our veterans who deserve the best health care available. We also spent four months at Children’s Memorial Hospital, now the Lurie Children’s Hospital. The majority of our pediatric urology training is with the outstanding pediatric urologists at Loyola University- Drs.Hatch and Matoka. Loyola University Medical Center’s Department of Urology provided me with a wonderful, well-rounded training experience and I look forward to providing care to all patients in Northwest Indiana.