Dr. Emerson E. Harrison, Sterling Physician Group Urologist, has nearly 35 years of experience in urologic surgery. After practicing in the Atlanta area, Harrison was looking to make a change to improve his work-life balance. When Harrison learned of the rural, teaching hospital in Moultrie, Georgia, he decided to move south to Colquitt Regional.
A North Carolina native, Harrison received his medical degree from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He then went on to complete his surgical internship, residency, and urologic surgery residency at Emory University.
While Harrison has always had an interest in surgery, he weighed three different surgical specialties when it came time to choose which residency he would complete.
“Initially, I was interested in general surgery, and when I started to learn about some of the surgical specialties, I was particularly interested in either plastic surgery, cardiothoracic, or urology,” Harrison said. “I think at that time I was looking at the residencies. For me, when I was in medical school, urology was six years, plastics was six to seven years, and cardio was eight years, so I kind of narrowed it down by how many more years I had and picked urology.”
Even throughout his lengthy career, Harrison has never second-guessed his decision. He said it is the best of both worlds, or rather, the best of three.
“My field is a wonderful combination of surgery, endoscopy, and the internal medicine part of urology,” Harrison said. “It’s basically its own medical specialty as well. So we get to practice three areas of medicine as a whole.”
One of the most common cases Harrison treats is kidney stones, hard and painful deposits that form in the kidney and can travel to other parts of the urinary tract.
When treating kidney stones, Harrison said there are a variety of treatments depending on the severity of the stones. While he and his team will try to let patients pass them on their own, sometimes they have to go in surgically to remove them. Harrison detailed some complex Urology Team Brings State-of-the-Art Technology to Southwest Georgia Written by: Alex Dunn and innovative instruments they use to safely and effectively remove the stones.
One of the most recent technologies implemented at Colquitt Regional is the Dornier Delta III Lithotripter. This machine is instrumental in helping break up kidney stones non-invasively by passing high energy shock waves through the body.
“With our new Lithotripter, we can blast stones from outside the body, which is an outpatient procedure,” he said. “For some of the more complex stones, we use a Lumunas Holmium laser technology where we can go inside the body using scopes inside the urinary tract specifically without making any cuts, find the stone, and blast it using lasers. The way we get up into the body, we can go up into the urinary tract through the bladder and into the tubes that go from the kidney to the bladder called the ureters. We have flexible scopes that are able to follow the curves all the way up into the inside of the kidney.”
Another recent addition that Harrison has brought to Colquitt Regional is Urolift. This is a minimally invasive procedure that provides rapid and durable relief from urinary symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a common urinary condition in men.
During the procedure, Harrison places small, permanent implants into the prostate to lift and hold the enlarged tissue out of the way, which relieves the pressure on the urethra and allows the urine to flow.
“Right off I like the comradery of the physicians. I think the CEO and administration have put together a very diverse and very well qualified community of physicians to serve this area. They have brought in physicians that are very well trained from all over the country to this small community.”
— Dr. Emerson Harrison
Along with kidney stones and Urolift, Harrison said he specializes in a wide variety of urological services such as enlarged prostate and prostate infections, vasectomy, erectile dysfunction, testosterone replacement therapy, advanced treatment for voiding symptoms, urinary tract infections, and impotence. He also handles the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of urologic cancers, including prostate, bladder, kidney, and testicular cancers.
Harrison said that he has already found an excellent work environment in the short time he has worked at Colquitt Regional and Sterling Group Urology.
“ Right off, I like the camaraderie of the physicians,” he said. “I think the CEO and administration have put together a very diverse and very well qualified community of physicians to serve this area. They have brought in physicians that are very well trained from all over the country to this small community.”
Harrison joined Sterling Group Urology in November and practices with Anthony Davis, PA-C, who began in the summer of 2019. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Sterling Group Urology at 229-891-9148.